Thursday, November 2, 2017

Saul and Mary

At the apex of his career
Saul fell like a heavy potato
on the marble floor of the Louvre.
His last words were
“Tell Mary I—”
Mary was in the studio
at home in Pennsylvania
throwing clay pots
worrying about the chemistry
of the new indigo glaze.
The first light of dawn
sliced her shoulder
with a prism of warmth.
At Rouens they’d marveled
at soaring sandstone
the hand-dyed glass
gargoyles slowly dissolving
in a blur of October afternoons.
Whispers gathered like swallows
in the great stone buttresses.
He’d lost his passport
between breakfast and lunch
between cleft cobblestones.
They gave up looking,
took a nap with fishermen
on a moss bank by the river.
Mary never had children
life was too beautiful.
She could stand for hours
in the room of Botticellis
at the Uffizi.
Saul never even had a dog
he could contemplate for days
the fine curves
of a cloisonné snuffbox.
The day Ellington died
Saul was in a small café
overlooking the Danube,
where it curves around
the palace at Wurzburg.
The tears were wet on his cheeks
but he was smiling, smiling.
Mary was in a small shop
around the corner
spending two thousand dollars
on Austrian china
it was gold-leafed with cherubs
it reminded her of something.
When Mary died she was alone
they didn’t find her for three days
dried pastry batter on her hands
blueberry stains around her mouth
the phone bill lay open on the counter
it was astonishing.
The estate went to a mandolin player
they’d met in Corfu.
He kept the piano,
sold the rest

for his daughter’s wedding.

No comments:

Post a Comment