He spread out his life which I sliced into words,
for although he had long owned the script rights
outright, his tweaking needed twisting:
change he would say when he meant desire;
love he would say when he meant desire.
Long down the languid afternoons he’d watch
flies buzz in terror at the screens, trying to escape
his dolor. He’d tell them his heart was an orange,
a tiny chipped cup locked deep in a dungeon
in France, then glance over to make sure
I’d scrape off the cheese:
all that failure and reward endured,
the midget uncle who’d fondled his knees.
Much later, as evening swelled to burst
before spilling its black ink so no one would see,
he rose up like smoke into roseate sky,
cloaked in the eloquence of his silence
with me choking back on the dust he dissolved to,
still clacking out the money-shot adjectives.
—from Rattle #31, Summer 2009