Lost Painting from Chagall’s Wartime Exile in America from Issue 56
While a couple makes love on the verandah,
their socks float off into the night.
A girl on a rooftop, taking laundry off the line,
tries to will herself to air, join the flock
of strangely colored crescent moons.
She levitatesㅡjust slightly.
Several blocks away, the blue socks
find a violin in a dumpster. They learn quicklyㅡ
music pouring off the bow like warm milk with honey
into the gaping mouths of truckers
outside the all-night diner. The men
are dumbstruckㅡcan’t remember simple words like
coffee, omelet, hash brownsㅡtheir upturned faces
glowing in the neon sign’s electric light.
The green pair billows in the wind
beside a payphone, where an old woman
is repeating, Tuesday… Tuesday…
the way a bird might sing at daybreak.
Back up above the power lines,
both pairs watch the woman, pacing circles
by her car, grow smaller, until the diner
lies below them: a box of jewelry
is a speck of light, and the city
on the dresser in the bedroom
where all lovers sleep.