Dissolution (Or, Landscape With Martyr)

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.

 

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