Study in Archaic Colors: Pronoun Troubles
Or
A Trace of Sunlight
On Worn Brass in a Handmade Key
— for Sunčana Rain Pavlić
if   in one turn   tumblers go on around you   
dreams douse themselves in rubia 
tinctoria & move thru walls   both eyes wink & bend 

nickel pins in you   if heat from what’s left 

unlocked all night softens ripe fruit 

in the dark   if an open wrist 
falls into a bed of cochineal shells & the sky’s a bucket
in an empty well   if an arc from the green

stem whets the blade   wait for me with your eyes
cut at the clean edge 
of us   a nose above the inaudible

pull of the pigment pool   there are bodies 

above & below   let the hallway 
fringe itself in chalk & waver thru cracks 

in its plaster hands   let what follows a fugitive

moon search the violet lake we left 
nailed to the wall   here’s wax to protect the Vitruvian red   

here’s a pure hour of your hair 
brushed along the uncertain condition 
of the floor   walk on me   lie 

on me & you can feel it give   I’m grain by grain 
& you’re light from a clean dime that spins 

in a third body of copper air   we’re a window left open

in a storm on the skin   we move against each other 
& leave curves in narrow marble
ways that sharpen the wind   we let in veins

of starlight that turn blood into soft metal 
& bring on a scent of animals 
that bloom in us bright as antimony 

ground into lead with a dash of salt from the sea  
thrown to the wall by a candle   
			
there’s a shadow of huge teeth from this loop 
of string   there’s this keyhole’s worth 
of chrome you left in my ear   a pocket full 

of loose change on the table & a thumb in the pastel 

of an arched back when cymbals touch cinnabar 
in the Villa of the Mysteries 
& the puff-push of your voice on my face 

turns indigo in my eye from nude green 
into a moth of breath burning blue

the sky swings its empty wooden shadow
over the table   a bucket full of shade
over a heaped plate of hearts on the half shell

that night I dreamt I was a piece of ash swept
up by a fire in the high scrub 

of a desert night   flame from a frozen shot of vodka   

I wake up late & alone in a blind pool 
on sun-crushed sheets
the dream’s gone into the eyes of another woman

she’s five tomorrow   & I see it as if from off in far red			
hills   a glow from behind the slope   I taste it begin 

to fall on my upturned face   let the fire roar   

& whatever falls fall like wet ash into white heat   
had by both bent
wrists   a wet noose hoists me   I turn & spin

out of control in the empty up & up 

I say : “I dreamt your daddy’s a burning man”

& I’m thru the drape of a dream & holding on
to what fell on me fell all that night fell 
thru me like an open wing   quick as a candle

swallows a black pearl    it fell on & thru me   whatever it was

				fell like rain was its middle name

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