Rue des Blanc Manteaux

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Certainly objects—places—writhe with uncertainty,

Not ours about them but their own. Promiscuous colors,

The summer truths. He was in love with yellow but unfaithful

With blue every chance he got. The sun kept the dayjail,

The nightjail had no keeper at all—his eyelids stuttered in both,

In both he wore his cell through the streets like a beautiful coat.

His friends published a list of his crimes in the paper ending

With Mythomania. The cops brought candy years later

To be remembered as a nature of things—a sweetness.

Return to Rue des Blancs Manteaux

When we arrived it was much as we expected, we had

Sent out imaginings ahead to do the dirty work: a small arch

On a street of windows gang’d with ghostly wedding gowns

Opening onto a sudden place which wanted us—all this

In the late afternoon beneath the balcony of having to return.

Joshua Clover’s books include Tranche/Syntagma, The Totality for Kids, and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About.

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