The demon that is a clown and a monkey.
He is sitting outside your window, the
tall stained-glass one of subtle plot
and dubious moral, and the question in his smile
“do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?”
seems to ask:
Was it her body,
out of this world, red-shining, or just its articulation
humid as the starry air and conversation
and conspicuously of the hour about distinctions?
“The man wore a yellow suit and was
running from his past, you see him sick
for relief in a small village, spending promiscuously
on everyone when he has nothing, and his confidences
riddled, abrupt and feverishly so
the whole town is ill at ease, they’re up in arms
and who wouldn’t be? His presence begs to challenge
everything to a fight.”
But in daylight
the window is spectacular; the room, cozy and warm.
Did she love the stranger, did she know his name
which wrote itself wide and ominous?
Or was it the neighbor, true as these chairs
of the living where I sit—you too—and witness
something trefoil, sumptuously unstill?
“In the end everyone was wrong. There is no escape.
To make real the comedy, the ghost, the mischief,
he, whoever he was, ran out
into the night and dove into the water
and the town broods over it again and again.”