They Will Sew the Blue Sail

FENWAY COURT | Samuel Amadon

I take part—as lakes support

our treading in them—and I possess

even the choice that’s made

for me. PLAY

the open field to sketches a street,

forward city around them

fell: a line of awnings,

brick and brown,

garbage flaking where you don’t see,

then you see.

I take to it, what isn’t mine:

I watch its breath.

Its men (two men) dressed as cops.

They enter the museum

after midnight. I want to say I’m three.

Rembrandt’s Storm

is titled on the Sea of Galilee.

I’m late to this art,

that book pile behind me

so much catches up

I’ll never get in place. Too far

afield to find against,

or between. I can tell the time

they caught Whitey Bulger

passes from the paintings

returned does not come.

Speculations settle into

books, film. Against

circles, circles raise

marginal as this F.B.I., and this

I.R.A. Ted Kennedy dead,

and a painting cut is

rolled, unrolled: so the wrong ones

can’t find it, so can’t get saved—

Saint Mark’s remains, smuggled

under pork and cabbage,

a Venetian feast—or rather, the heist

to beat. Providence’s Federal Hill

holds out no mystery

here is a mystery.

Cities on hills. You find a thing of light

in your hand not peaceful—

The Concert, 1658-1660.

On airplanes, in hospitals

the oxygen masks descend into

our hands. We catch their straps

around a path that won’t

complete. I’m at a buzzer,

a finger in the inch, half

an inch, there.

I know the nails on my toes,

my teeth, and all the skin

in between. It is me—

unlike anything I’ve read.

There’s the part we know:

two cops buzz and are

let in, they approach the guard

station, they ask the other guard

to come downstairs. They act

like cops, threatening.

We can assume they were afraid,

the guards as well,

but we know it doesn’t matter.

Taped and bound in

the basement, it doesn’t matter.

That they left no evidence.

That the art can’t sell,

its ruined flakes unfold.

A belilaced cellar hole closes

like a thunderclap—

a dent in Holland—one

turn of gunpowder set on

gunpowder, and then not at all:

A View of Delft

staggers with white trees—After

the Explosion. This is

Vermeer joins the guild,

then an incompleteness

nowhere particular. Its mist

struck constant like debt.

Like thunderclap. Like out of all

his view too much,

this, edging back,

thins under the scene.

Turbo comes into the room

as we catch the fringe of

what he’s moved to

another subject, sorts

a gangster in Hartford with the bay

of an auto shop, cooking

on Franklin Avenue, the South End

is fringe enough.

What’s dealt as recovery, amnesty

is a check paid out

across a low-rent office park, strip-

mall without stores,

where not enough accumulates again

to meet you on the front steps

with how many days in that

shirt, the blood taste

over your lip—beyond your shoulders:

posts, a set of lawn furniture,

neighbors’ porches, and the next

strewn outward like

a country. Take the book pile

around my bed, the screens

left open, light in the laundry

room, garage light:

out from the focus the focus

recedes. Let’s make everything

two Rembrandts, or a Vermeer

with two paintings hung

beside the open harpsichord, the lid

decorated, painted, I don’t know

the man’s face from the lowered

eyes of his companions.

We don’t assume it’s more than

trivia, good trivia—as the cracks

work in before that acid

feeling, walking ten miles

the sun too pavement to be dangerous,

sought for more than these

Caravaggios in the Atheneum:

Hartford’s loan from Rome

given for the Wadsworth returning

a stolen painting, nothing more

than a summer weekday, walked in

half for water, then black

blast of light—strange and tall before

some death of Christ—the cake

breaks off down the middle of our

back, shoulders rotate out

or feet lifting from it’s repeated, a long

time between when we notice

and when we notice. I’ve shed again,

but my preferences steal right

around me: cool there. “You have to keep

looking”—says the art detective,

his body falling apart

on the platform, a person

out of a book I read faded into a film

I saw, both of them are lost:

we can watch him keep

after all the paintings;

the paintings aren’t even the art

I want to catch up to

where I started from. I take a long way

from lying under

the hammock, a yellow walkman—

these waters and watering place—

with wind off a beach,

into the woods: a muscle

that isn’t there isn’t there to

delight. Inside the house, they’re

casting the bell in Andrei Rublev

on a television with a curve,

crackling speakers. I take apart

myself, and find a box of cords

loosely tied together, then cards,

each assigned a value:

a simple watercolor tree, bare

on a hill, where there aren’t hills,

a fence with shadows we can

follow beyond confusion.