[Fishing by Basquiat 1981]
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.