Hateful, how our pasts jog around us
in this bomb crater landscape.
The painter did a bad job, we are off
center. The focal point is someone’s shadow
standing straight up. The pallet is desolate—
cold violet, navy-blue, darks that bleed on us
like an overfull night. We are a ball
cradled by the bottom-left corner of the frame.
Soft together. Yarn-heavy. Clothed
as dolls are clothed. You think
I am pulling your stocking off, that I am
feeling the blue-blood romance in the stuffy air,
that we are a life beginning. Sweetheart,
I was only grasping your leg to keep myself
from sliding into the pit of this—where
the picture stops there is simply no more.
Crows now bat at the shadow-figure, become it.
Your button eye blackens, and snaps shut on me.
James Champion (he/him/his) is from Whitehall, Michigan. He has a bad habit of looking only at his shoes as he walks from place to place, but this makes arrival (and the sky) a constant surprise. You can find him online at @jameslchampion on Instagram or Twitter.