A Madman with a Box Describes His Companion by Means of Shades of Time

At times, my lover is an artist who doesn’t grasp she is an artist
She is abstruse
and indistinct
but to me, at times, she is concrete

At eras, she is the lone sunflower,
reaching past the others,
arching in the dusk,
yellow, black, purple, and blue

At epochs, she is a Gemini,
an Aries, and a Libra
a Capricorn by nature
yet a Leo by appeal

At spells, she is a neo-pagan witch
the black lace adorning a Bay area bar
tattooed like perdition
a pale, moonlight hand serving straight whiskey to a man
with a scar across his eye
and a naked lady on his neck

At stretches, she is a model in a black and white sweater
in a crimped, VOGUE page
near a white coffee cup
filled with beige cappuccino
on a white linen sheet

At stints, she is a little girl in a field of irises
still for a moment, lost in Kentucky
she will return to her endless procession momentarily

At periods, my lover is a minimalist painting of two people kissing
genderless, sexual, provocative, risqué
yet impersonal

At intervals, she is a student in a café,
pen in her mouth,
legs crossed,
hair up,
glasses at the edge of her nose,
her gentle, white hand resting on the edge of a laptop

At phases, she is in control of everything except her ability to love.
except to let her eyes talk and restrain her words
except to slit her wrist for a vampire
accept apparently

At moments, she is a girl resting her cheek against pastel foliage
staring with unconsciousness
pale yet feverish yet stunning

At stages, she is a glass and brass chandelier
hanging above a black velvet couch
in a room with no walls in it lacking
in old, delicately scented books and macabre, peculiar curiosities

At occasions, she is the groupie with no boundaries
staring up at the stage in her denim jacket
angling her face in the limelight
so that her eyes and hair look
syrupy and ravening

At instances, she is a ragamuffin,
resting her sunburned face against my shoulder
devoid of the burdens of possession or belonging
sitting in front of a gas station
in boots and dirty clothes

At days, my lover is the purple and green knolls
bending, reaching, stretching
shrouded in mists, caressing the rice fields
she shelters the pagodas in a little town in Japan from the rising sun

At seasons, she is a brunette on a boardwalk in blue jeans and a white t-shirt
no fishing pole, no cotton candy, no sunglasses, no man
exposed and smiling
like Mona Lisa

At seconds, my lover is the aurora,
detached and buoyant,
turquoise and cerulean,
an image of the image of the sun
gliding like stardust does
behind the white alps of Alaska

At minutes, she is a match
in a dark room
stretched before kerosene
above newspaper
and swaying like a drunken ballerina

At hours, she is a queen
strategically striding through her bastion
up stairs adorned with wooden thatching and golden cupids
She pauses often
to sigh and to stare up
at the stories that belief and time have painted
above and before her

At months, she is a cosplay geek
grinning like Dante and laughing like Marceline
buying and consuming
yet always aware of the mandatory metaphor she represents

At counts, she is a double entendre
meaning what she says
and saying what she means
having an old friend for dinner
she’s figuratively a man-eater

At years, she is a bohemian adolescent
leaning against the green wood of the storefront
flicking her ashes on the ground
one foot forward, the other back
sipping coffee and cream black
with “The Bell Jar” in her hand

At tempi, she is Suzy Parker in Paris
O’Keefe in the desert
Hepburn in New York
yet Stevie Nicks dancing with a bonfire

At schedules, she is the woman in the subway
the one with the red lipstick
the one with the black pencil skirt
staring out of the window with wet eyes
and perfect mascara
suspending her briefcase with one finger

And quite often, she thinks “beautiful” is a lazy way to describe her assets
so like a A Madman with a Box
I am counting the times
she is, she was and will be
So that at any moment,
she remembers
she is everything
to me


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