by Bill Yarrow
I am twilight's pissoir, the orphan's
inclination. My star is dead; my constellation
crushed. The Prince of Aquitaine has fallen
and cannot rise. I am the shadow of waxwing slain.
In the tomb, in the outré tombe, I see
the Sea of Capri, the Hearse of Merci,
La Lune de Pantoum, La Place du Caprice.
Désolé! Désolé! Où le vinaigre et le vin sont un.
I am naked and red, cheri. Give me back
my color and my clothes. Give me back my
singularity, my tristesse, my photo ID.
She sits in a gondola and burnishes her arms.
She puts the piquant radish in her mouth.
She takes a loofa and wipes the rainbow from her neck.
All rights reserved.
This poem appeared in Treehouse.
"El Desdichado" is a 1854 poem by Gerard de Nerval.
"I am the shadow of the waxwing slain"--Vladimir Nabokov in Pale Fire