Me & Mona Lisa

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this piece after seeing a crow munching on some ice cream in Washington Square Park.

Submitted: October 26, 2012

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Submitted: October 26, 2012

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Today I watched a crow peck at a carcass—

half an ice cream cone,

lying helpless on the asphalt dessert floor.

Mm, how the color of the crow against the smooth tarmac,

both blacks speckled with sugar-free-vanilla-dribble,

brought back to mind a picture of you.

And the way your perfect hair, dark brown,

the color of soil after rain, bleeds onto the black of your blouse.

 

That half-smirk, half-leer—Lisa, what is it dear?

I consider the way you’ve been passed around, 
fondled, touched and re-touched, and

I know what you want.

Let me touch you. Let me peck your fragile skull.

Allow me to gently lick the spaces between the folds of your memories,

and bring you up to date. 

 

The time past

while you’ve been a prisoner. A prisoner of Paris,

a prisoner turned spectacle. It makes me ache for you.

 

It’s been years since it went up in shambles and

they’re just now rebuilding St. Louis.

Manhattan Marchiony started the whole thing

with his sloping sided waffle-pastry-cups, the bastard.

Told all the vendors at the World’s Fair he’d pushed them for years,

up and down his block. Then this Syrian baker and a guy called Abe

got into it with a Turk from Jersey who came from overseas

to deliver news: The Waffle Cornucopia—a classic French delicacy.

 

And it would be the French, eh old friend? Yes, it was quite a sight,

the walls crumbling, trapping the hungry crows of 1904,

all desperately seeking the recipes. Some ancient wisdom

only you possess. They still gather from time to time,

infecting street corners, wheeling carts.

 

Their cries would shake the walls of the Louvre

harder than your own did, the day you called on me to save you.

They wander like nomads, heads down

through the metaphorical hills in your distant background. 

Your glance follows them and yet they never look, the poor bastards.

 

Don’t worry, I hate them all for you. Lisa,

America is a land infected with black crows,

nestled behind the canyon to the left of your right bosom.

It is itself a work of art, created by the kind of cone-baking-salesman

who travels to France to steal your delicacies,

who wants to touch you only to be touched himself,

never understanding the magic involved in a perfect fit.

 

I will never be one of them. I am like you—

part of a piece of art, a speck on a canvas to be looked at,

but never understood by those outside the frame.

 

We look every last fucker right in the eye

because we’re the only ones confident enough to know what art is.

And yet, the art itself can never become the artist,

so we eagerly accept fate

and leave nothing behind for the crows to eat.

 

From here on out, we breath easily, speak openly, and die willingly

whenever the time comes—

which reminds me, Lisa…

 

before the persistent flashing cracks your brittle frame,

before the flames melt this plexiglass case and set fire to the museum,

before the developers move in with bulldozers and blueprints for strip-malls

and shopping centers, before they pave over our canvas with black asphalt,

 

before they realize you’re here,

would you please, please,

please let me put my finger

in

your

ear?

 


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