Happenstance

Fishing, Jean-Miche Basquiat, 1981

[Fishing by Basquiat 1981]

Happenstance

The happenstance of today’s blood

goes like this: Sixty-thousand

implements of war crack open

the northern front and pocket

themselves among the Kurds.

Further east, hundreds of families stand up

and leave, in tandem, together, en masse,

a massive sanguineous cloud

darkening the sky above a plot

of little bushes, star-branched

and craggly, bearing no fruit. The world

is watching for any saurian slither

beneath that fruitless shrub.

And she is watching the watching world.

What was now is

evolved, just as her stubby coccyx

misses her old tail.

What was now is

ripened into explosive death.

What is her shy intrigue about

yesterday’s dress, sanguine

in saffron, the bleeding dye

of monks’ robes that clothe

their perfections of impartiality?

She sets out to match the day

in a different frame this time.

She came up with a gilded gold

effervescence she knew

wanted to couch her

toylike in his house. There she was

in all her faud, a plastic

Pinocchia thinking she’s real, girl, real . . .

“You don’t know . . . what love is

until you’ve learned the meaning . . .

of the blues . . . “

The blue deep of today’s sky

goes like this: She is wounded

and stretched tight over the distant hill,

attenuated heart thin as onion

skin, just can’ seem to pull it

all together to make something,

anything to bind her through

the passage (will she ever make it?)

Delusive entrance, door, threshold,

she has been tricked before,

she has tricked herself once more,

don’t blame it on anyone else.

The sky is fat

with cotton balls of clouds.

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