The Night the Two of Us Found Our Audience
after Plein Air by Ramon Casas

Our fight is naked as show girls.
I see their sticks and skeletons below
the windmill of the Moulin
Rouge spinning round, something
Don Quixote might want pulled down.

Inside, men dance around coat racks,
rankled fists pound the stage,
gaslights crackle, and show
girls leave in a train of legs kicking,
glare from their tap shoes lost in smoke.

Do you point at sin beyond those double doors,
or the howlers bursting from them?
They get no drunk off absinthe—
sequins that dazzle the eye feel rough to the fingers,
rumple when we hide, when we laugh.

Our fight will bolster the booze breaking
bottles inside them, snap our stripped
tables over their knees, push trees onto
fences—my voice wrecks into the
October evening revved July hot.

As the ground shakes with crowd the windmill spins.
Imagine those arms for a second stilled,
or the engine switched direction so they’d
keep turning around and around
away from heaven and toward the ground.

Manoli Kouremetis earned his MFA from Old Dominion University in 2006. He currently teaches at a private school for students with learning differences and as adjunct faculty at his alma mater. His fiction will appear in the upcoming issue of The Southeast Review.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761