Paul Franz

Like a frenzied bird, your scarf, flapping
with a blank check’s hysteria, snatches your smile
and scatters it across water flashing
bright white teethmarks left by the wind

nipping with playful malice.
I did not bring you here to find things magnified,
the world strangely diminished. So I said,
or should have, where that bird
struts on its plinth of shade and the river, sluggish,
sinks amid torpid ripples slapping
varnish after varnish over the sand.
Did you share that water’s shiver, turning
a cold shoulder in sleep? Over the breakwater,
a glossy flank suggests itself again,
like something you remember 
thinking you might… No. September’s light
will banish itself and, soon, these forms,
these stark remains and wastages,
will seem to have been waiting for us, and we,
also, to have been waiting for us, where further
back in that slipping off, that stepping forth,
spaced-out walkers scuffing the lean
ice-dunes, we walked, bundled
into an alternate nudity, under a blank sky.