He presses his wrist into my breast

and wraps his hand around my neck

palm and fingers enfolding my ivory veil.

His eyes devour the lights from three wax candles,

one burning with a viridian flame.

Unaware of the wind licking his hair,

cast by the open and close of angels’ wings,

with white skirts flowing behind the bend

of their backs as they roll through somersaults

on clouds or the sweet grass of the sienna earth.

He is unable to hear the musicians,

who float by the strings of violins,

filling the ears of animals and jars for butterflies

with notes that evaporate and reappear.

He is ignorant of the snow-white flowers,

bulbous shapes sheared from wooly hides,

hanging from the vines of a green heaven.

He is blind to the cherubs,

with rubious collars and pearl bodies,

candles burning in their palms like stars,

and a red sea being pulled by their feet

across the roofs of a sleeping town.

He can not see the woman waving below,

or the clown standing on a kitchen stool

with a clarinet at his lips and a juliet cap,

or the purple goat with gold horns drinking

water from a wicker basket.

He stares at the steady drip of burning iris,

beads of silver that fall down onto a wooden table.

My cheek and eyes

tuck into the space below his ear,

and to slow down his world on fire,

I place my hand on his forearm,

halfway between the elbow and the wrist.

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