A man barely his age when he was alive
hears voices as he steps onto the bus,
finds an empty seat,
angles his long, gangly self into
(insert any place name beginning with the letter B)
adjusts to his view of the
(any scene you like, chaotic or peaceful, you decide).

He lives to smoke cigars: panatelas, cheroots,
coronas—any brand will do. It’s not the tobacco
it’s the smoke and the stench.
He takes out a handkerchief,
the one she lent him to wipe
(insert an unsentimental liquid).
He is sure no house ever sounded so blue.

He goes limp when prone, wherever he is.
She is far away and is also prone, wherever she is.

The man is alone, by nature he is told. But he
refuses to give in and go back inside
where she might still be hiding.

Funny, but he can’t recall any house painted of noises,
early or barely falling.

*Upon reading the poem “Caravaggio and His Followers,” by John Ashbery, as seen on the internet, but only the first few lines, the rest being reserved to subscribers.


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