We Close Our Eyes and the World Changes

- after "L'Ange guerrier" ("The Warrior Angel") by Odilon Redon

As if overnight, blue citadels of air
materialize; and armies of contagion
sowing their thousand deaths 

across the countryside. The moon
is as pale as our white-walled 
interiors; and the sky, dark

as the quilts we've lent the angel
who must go to war. How long and
windswept the deserted beaches.

How silent the halls with thousands
of folding chairs. And who remembers
the hour when bells were rung,

when trains flavored the tracks with
heated sparks? Dying, we long to see
again the blue-tinged folds of rooftops.

Coming back, we fever in hallucinations: 
bent over basins, trying to fit the sky's
lozenge into our wounded throats.

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