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the courtyard-
built by men with parasite crowns
beside smallpox-speckled plymouth rock
upon stolen grounds
of indigenous wild chestnuts
replaced with hedgerows, gardens,
pickle-green leaves overgrowing,
and monuments of crusaders on horseback
steady standing, kicked up in glory
finding divine in the profane

the faded brick structure stands-
with scattered bulletholes that read like braille
the lost verses of tragedy and triumph

through the entrance- a vaulted ceiling
of intricate moldings, skylights
letting through the sun’s cleavage
in provocative waves of thrilling light

the chandelier-
centered, dangles by mere threads of chain
with fifty dim bulbs sending daggers
of illumination to white-colored walls
the charm fabricating paleness, a mystique
left in a toxic haze from an era
stinging with filthy privilege
still speaking loud in the breadths
of monotone air that fill the vacant hallways

exhibit one- vintage fragments of emotion
still trembling within their frames-
three men performing on the corner side
of a bustling city avenue, below the streetlights,
their spotlight

a musician with pursed lips on a wooden reed
releases a melody of golden notes, swirling in air,
his feet sway with the rhythm, eyes fastened shut
straining in focus

the man beside him holds flames in his palms
beating on the bone-colored drum with a rusted trim
the center- worn, thinned and browned
as if a fire had struck it hard

then, there's the leader with a foot kicked up
on the hydrant, mouth stretched open
painting a rich legato with his tongue,
hands curled into fists, held to chest
feeding the sound that passionately echoes
through the sepia shadows
of the flattened photograph

exhibit two- a corridor of terracotta busts
placed upon porcelain pedestals, high
with upturned brows, crooked noses,
jawless mouths full of suppressed
melodramatic verbiage
a still expression of sculpted disgust
from a nameless species, scraps of clay
zen bastards living in a stupor numbness

their eyes- painted crimson or ultramarine
polarized, pull and tug in fierce perplexity
a lasso tying around the necks of the lightweights
strangling the last bits of opposing color- out
choose one

exhibit three- upon a plain eggshell wall
lies a single painting, framed
carved out of mahogany (like a coffin)
intricate and proudly displayed in glory
all explanation, however, is reduced
to a minuscule slip of rice paper titled-
“acrylic truths”

it is of broad strokes, blended and blurred
a still life displaying green fruits of labor
held in a wicker basket, resting
stacked upon each other, nineteen,
plucked from the branch- nature’s placenta
before they were ripe, and now
eternally, they lie in numbing rawness

what if they had waited for the fruits to darken-
to fill with juices, mature properly
to the stage where they’re just about to slip
off the tree, into the orchards of bluegrass
using their vibrant lime peel-colored leaves
to fly free with sugar in their veins

but if, at the right moment they were caught
in the hands of a painter- what a powerful
fruit it’d be, upon a canvas breaching
into the realm of dreams-
but then again,

it’s all a white abyss beneath




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