Toulouse-Lautrec

A crow stands in a field,
in loose earth between two rows

of irises. He struts
as I pass, and walks beside me.

It is an oily lantern,
that field

How often I’ve cried out to the crows there
wanting a wife.

I think of Toulouse-Lautrec,
the words too loose and track,

the puns around painter’s names.
I swore I’d never walk the Seine again

or the two bridges of Paris
without another woman’s hand in mine.

What is Paris now,
paperboard cutouts

and popup clowns.
They came out of their bedrooms

but could not hold their face.
You are before me,

the lights of Sacre Coeur
the Moulin Rouge

sunset
Toulouse-Lautrec and I

listening to the dark bells of Notre Dame.

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