There’s less to write about now the city’s cut out of me,
emptied out and moved,
like in the Leger painting where the colors insist on being
colors and not the insides of something else.
Anyway, the color’s gone and now it aches between my outline
and the museum on a Monday—
school kids everywhere and the walls calling out things
artists wanted to tell me.
In the cracked canvas, the image branches out
at the edges, like plants
or where the blood notices it can’t go any further and turns
back, again and again. The city sounds
aren’t replaced by jazz exactly, but it helps, like listening
to the white noise of my father
getting ready in the morning. I heard a woman—
an old woman, nearly bent in half,
sloshing her coffee—coughing at the museum, hacking away
rhythmically, and since I don’t work
at the museum, I just ignored it. Someone who works at the museum
got her a glass of water, and the lady
called her a doll and said everything dries up when you get old.
I’m getting older and live alone, so I just keep emptying
the dishwasher. I’ll have to just keep doing it, every time, emptying
the dishwasher, if I want it to be empty.