The sunset and the bar

by DRM

My reason for laying beside you and smelling like beer

When you finish reading this
I want you to be able to paint
The sky I saw when I walked out
To the garbage bin at dusk.

Look up past the spring buds
Blurring the kinky ends of the ginko
To the ribbon of sky, upended by
Dusk starting to draw in its shadow

Like a matron makes the bed of a child
Who is off to a new foster home,
The third; You know how to mix the paint
To make the colors so let me list

The way
The sky

A band of pink, a streak really,
Soft like the worn warm-up suit
The girl in Murphy’s wore,
Ground down to little nubbins

That hinted at the blue mixing in
On the pink. I caressed her
Shoulder — just a touch, really —
When she started to cough.

The beer was an empty flat amber
And the ashtray looked grey through
Its prism. Her shoulder was meaty.

For a moment I firmed my hand
Against the fleshy nob
Of her shoulder blade.

I closed my eyes hard
And saw the blue-black with
White specks that augurs
Misplaced desire. That is the night

Crawling into the sunset. Don’t forget
The little bits of orange
Like the cracked pieces of Crayola
That I ground into the carpet

When I got to our apartment too late
And climbed into bed next to you
Trying to capture the image of the sunset
While you measured your breath

And stiffened your body away from me
Like the old slab of marble
You keep by your easel. Somehow the paint
Is always fresh and easily bruised.

April 2010