Defunctive music, under sea.

photograph by ‘Klaartjelambrechts1’. from ArtPeople gallery

Burbank crossed a little bridge, 
on a withered but waterproofed Baedeker.
His eyes on the remote, destination,
the faint half-blush on the neck of 17
years old Duchess of Ferrara.

scuttling on the floor of silent seas,
 Baudelaire, with a serious face.

Turning, stepping down the stairs, 
a hand sliding the rail; 
if the railing be time
and at the end of time, saying
your goodbyes 
to every literary William,
and they, back to you: ‘Ta Ta.
Goodnight ladies. Goodnight
sweet ladies.’

My aunt and the Duchess were friends,
their laughter bouncing off the thin
surface of the now cold tea
in the porcelain, and fine
facial lines
masked with foundation and hypocrisy.

scuttling on the floor of silent seas
 Baudelaire, with a serious face.

We used to play in her gardens,
among the blooming judas
and animated worms,
and a look at the crook of their necks,
transfixed at their places, stiff
with starch and twisted and torsioned,
about to snap now, at any moment.

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