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.