Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Nocturne with Choreography for Departure

Streetcar wires sing steel nocturnes
promising the mystery of travel. Sitting cornered
in chiaroscuro, he anticipates her choreography.
She’ll enter like this: penetrating his half-dark,
a froth of black hair
beating the white shore of her face.
The hard cinnamon-sound of her name will crack
in his teeth as she slides like ice across the floor,
dangerous in high heels.

He waits in silence, memory lit indigo, tangerine:
the light of betrayal, colors of gas-jets
that licked illicit on her skin
in the wrong rooms.
All the years of shameful exchange,
poor currency.

She will enter, smile cracking carmine
over bad teeth. He’ll answer
in words, pulled steel, singing with electricity
and sudden comprehension of the allure of trains.  

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