Met Museum, 1965, the first I'll see, his Young Woman Sleeping. Stage right, bright-threaded carpet flung over the table where a plate of apples, crumpled napkin and drained wineglass abut the recapped pitcher. Propped by one hand, her leaning drowse, behind which, a door opens on the dream, dim, bare but
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They’d started meeting by night at the only local,
A seething crowd drawn from among the loudest
Words, swearing, conspiring, over tankards of ale.
In sour chiaroscuro their clenched faces by moments
Looked too grievance or was it expressive for comfort.
Rage drowns out background sounds such as summer
Crickets, the result, that one of them, in humid
Darkness, stops rasping his metal comb. It’s clear
That the rally of Words will turn demonic,
That before night ends they’ll be up in arms.
Even the rawest learner can in a clock tick
Become aware of the name it’s called by. Which
He tries on Cricket Cricket till he thinks: Your name
Amounts to a sound, nothing more. Trundling on
Towards the defiant Words, he says, No. No, I Am Deuce.