Originally an imitation of Geoffrey Brock’s “Abstraction” but after several revisions it’s now less an imitation and more an inspiration.
It’s like the sensation of falling,
like slinking down the stairs while
moving too fast, both palms gripping the walls
of a mug brimming with tea, the liquid a sloshing,
stormy ocean scenting its coasts with Earl Grey
instead of salt, disgruntled fish firing foamy bubbles
that froth on the surface as the strange warmth
of their waters spill over and waste into the carpeted steps. Eventually
you catch yourself at the base of the stairs where a couch
lies in repose; she asks to be painted
like one of your French girls, but you’ve forgotten your brushes
in another time. Out of breath, a small dose
of adrenaline still hissing in your knees, urging
you forward, faster like the shadow of your inevitable
death is at the top of the stairs, like the fish in the ocean
in you hands will jump up and bite you if you take a sip
without first sitting down, you start walking
again, your pace calmer yet no less urgent. You lay on the couch
not intending to sleep but knowing you will anyway.
The mug you’ve placed on the coffee table will cool, the fish
will die, the ocean will settle and become tea again, and the table
will be faintly puzzled as to the sudden weight placed on its face
before curling into itself and disanimating.