The story involves fireworks on display,

day lilies in bloom,

also an unhappy doomed stepdaughter,

nymphs playing in the fountain,

a mysterious trip

to Tangier as a place of refuge,

a priceless painting

once owned by Durand-Ruel,

a strange odor

at the local flax market,

Monet’s old dried up paint tubes,

an ill-matched couple

from Finland on their honeymoon,

the town prostitute

with a new umbrella and new shoes,

a diary someone kept

while visiting Mesopotamia,

Cyrus the Great ordering

the rebuilding of the Temple,

Marcel Proust’s mattress

with his body-print still in it,

and Napoleon’s tongue.

But don’t worry.

I won’t tell you the ending.

You’ll be surprised.

Clarence Major is a poet, novelist, and painter. His recent books include Down and Up and From Now On: New and Selected Poems.

You Might Also Enjoy


Dmitry Gorchev

If you were born in a decent, settled country, you may work for decades as an accountant, you may eat a nutritious dinner every. . .


The Sage of Bucyrus

Verdy Cousins

The Final Lesson The men standing in the moonlight on that narrow porch represented the best of Bucyrus–the mayor, Colonel Hank. . .



Melina Kamerić

I’ve got money. But money means nothing. I have no visa. So I can’t leave the airport.


Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading