from A Dearth of Prose

See the gold lomography
with gilded frames and flowers:
"hi! ho! out you go!"
Ms. Browne's unwanted guest.
A small house affords
no ruin unwelcome,
and French paintings only crowd
the ailing walls.

"hi! ho! out you go!"
no eyeballs in the Louvre
of Lisa, Rembrandt staring back,
only the utensil rack.

The eyes of halls are burning dim
and porridge flecked with bits of straw.
"Ms. Browne, the house is caving in!"
"Ms. Browne, a porter at the door!"
knock knock!
"Come in!"
Silent movers lick the wall clean
like some Dickensian urchin,
and I close my eyes and open them.
Ghosts move out with linen cloth
in size twelve work boots
and clonk
and clank
and Peter Paul Rubens is in the bank.

The bees of last spring
were busy
blooming canvas flowers
on mason walls.
The drying hides a last refuge afforded
from the winters of earth
and mind.
She burnt the living sunlight
of days into them
with bits of coal
and a paintbrush.
Her prescient eulogy
she hid behind a sofa,
behind a tattered gray sofa,
behind a tottering gray sofa that showed her age.

In a pack of mules
that sounded like bones
a lady's diecast teeth
are the only museum guests.
The collector is long gone
back to Venice town,
and Millet becomes Italian;
the museum halls say nothing
but watch from nail sockets.

"hi! ho! out you go!"
and she brings gifts this year.
A rusty nail
hangs heaven by the fireplace
between four planks of gold
an oil cathedral.
Hearth lips spread a smile
to Ms. Browne.
Her feeble hands can't recall the pattern
of Starry Sky or Sunflowers;
and she can't locate her knitting needles;
and the gray hands of dusk close her door
and only speak in riddles.

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