From This is not a sky:
Café Terrace at Night
after Van Gogh
The ladies and gentleman, dapper. Astral lanterns glare gaily: the formerly ominous sky, candelabrad and gilded and precious.
(It’s Venice. Or Paris.
They’re tipsy. They’re gorgeous.)
Verandas are paintings for passersby, glaze-eyed, unstumbling, unfazed by the cobblestoned goings. The patrons, bedazzled on red woven rugs, drink café au lait, limoncello, and wine.
(And her? No really…she’s fine.)
Though the awning’s aslant, and the golden patina makes faceless and foregone, a shape of a shadow. A man in a doorway. A man she might know.
(Please go. Please go.)
And the curve of his coat summons thoughts of a lamp glinting harshly off mirrors she’d dampened with gauze. That lowing, that losing. That lowering light.
(One terrible night gives all other nights pause.)
But the stars. The stars. The promenade hours. The weather and color. The memories severed by laughter, its washing, its waves. No one gone, no one grave.