Harold Rhenisch
5.

Pewter stars, black reeds; so comforting
to think of you all there,
you Andre and Aragon, Soupault, Michaux, Artaud,
wandering around
in old suits with narrow lapels,
still smelling faintly of cigarette smoke
and mothballs. You taught us every thing,
how to paint the fingers with milk,
how to dream, "poetry"; old stuff.
Light, earth, water, fire. Bitter.
Clouds of male ants flood the valley air
above the willow swamps,
caught in the light of torn clouds:
Time. Europe's gone, and Space;
the terrible cloying presence
of moral and intellectual right:
all gone  blasted out of the air
at Sedan, Falaise, Ypres, Verdun.

All these words you taught us to destroy:
Beauty, truth, love, faith, and allegory. We did, too.
Where else but among the living
is the eternal soul to rest?

I push back the curtains,
and stare at Venus,
above the clouds, in the bright summer night,
and smell the stocks
bloom, and the long-forgotten
softness of human skin,
and all the emptiness of time.




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