Effigy Without a Body
Rest after restlessness and your body
like moonlight on the river, wavering.
Outside, bells and tugboat horns
keep me up. Night’s brackish river-
scent as your body; fragments of a foreign 
tongue looping into song:
                                                Where are we...
how do we...how much...may I touch?
Earlier, in a little chapel, among effigies 
of kings and bishops, you touched the 
broken chest of king’s favorite, Moorish, 
a singer of Provençal. They were lovers
or they weren’t.
                                One man letting another 
in as if out of the cold raised suspicions. 
When the king died, a small mob’s hammers
pelted the stone face and crossed arms
like rain. They burned the royal pepper trees. 
Like a troubadour song, the scent lingered 
after the hammers and flames hushed.
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