By JAYDN DEWALD
Afterward, he watched her lumber out of the coliseum
Swinging the severed head of his panther—
All that talk about Madrid and his old Segovia albums
And look what good it did them. Outside,
In the pomegranate dusk, she flung the panther’s head
Into the sidecar of her sepia ’57 Triumph
And roared, her orange hair flapping, into the distance.
Remember the mirror over their pine bed
In Ohio, loving her double nakedness night after night
With the snow falling? His mind escaped
Into that fragrant, still-warm profusion of white sheets
And denied (kissing her ears) the present
Wherein he stood at the ironwork gate of the coliseum
Watching her panther’s tail of black dust
Settle over the stone field. (Touching her arched spine,
Listening to the fizzle of the phonograph
In the static winter dark.) Later, restored to the present,
He would lug his headless cat to a furrier
And make of it a coat, luxurious, with abalone buttons;
In the meantime, he alternated his mouth
Between one tamarind nipple and the other, expecting
A little talk, afterward, about the beaches
Outside Valencia. Ribbons of spume in the lapis water,
Clam boats pitching in the diamond light—
Then he watched, in real time again, her Triumph melt
Into the mercurial horizon. It was crucial,
He felt, to attend the final scene. Raising his right arm,
He told the spectators to go home. Listen
To Segovia. Eat dinner. Keep your roses to yourselves.
Jaydn DeWald’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Columbia Poetry Review, The Minnesota Review, The National Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and others.
Listen to Jaydn DeWald and Zeina Hashem Beck discuss “Dissolution (Or, Landscape With Martyr) on our Contributors in Conversation podcast.