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Manet. 1876.

On Sundays Andrew and R.
visit the art museum.

They stand in front of
a tiny painting and
wonder about their
size, an elderly
woman walks by,
talking to herself
about her dog.

What color is this
one? Andrew asks,
pointing to a
chrysanthemum.

It is the color
of your flannel
shirt the day
we first met,
R. answers.

Why do you think
the impressionists
liked rivers?
R. wonders.

Maybe they were
afraid that the
best moments
of their lives
were running
away, Andrew
says.

At the back of the
museum is a giant
frame made of oak
with nothing in it.
Andrew and R. stand
at the base of the
painting, almost
not quite holding
hands.

Do you think we
could be a painting?
R whispers.
I think this is a
piece of art,
Andrew answers
and sighs.

R. wonders if he means
the frame or their hands.

R. says,
Can I finish the poem?

R. puts a hand up
and spreads fingers apart
and Andrew puts a hand up
and measures the space
between their fingers
until it is meaningless,
until it is symmetry,
until it is touching.

They walk out the door.
R. says aloud,
the world of art is silent.

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Because let’s be real,
now is not the time
for fun and games.

Black America is drowning while
Indiana cops pray college kids
have bad aim.

Inclement weather is just another
name for rain, hail, the storm
of baton blows on young boys.

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(But not much more.)

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Pretty sure I lost that round to the universe.

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Goodbye

To the year of champions.

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The cherry tree takes root
a nest of wet sugar and sap
sleeps between your legs

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Intention ≠ Execution

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