When she stroked the strings there was his blood
Like tomato juice, on her fingertips. Still she plays the song,
He’d moaned in private, nakedly on a chessboard of chords.
He lies fianchettoed within a swirl of pieces. She has won.
His tongue was at the heart of an aging pink rose nourished
By a river-god, amidst the blue desolation of a failing bohemia
Now, there’s the silliness of blood and salt and a romance stalled
Around redemption. Now, the burden of his song is fled.
He dies at midnight, the refrain still ringing
He lays on his earth bed and calls for the brand
Set to a sun of flames is he now, to rise newly from ash
Beautiful as an ivory stiletto, yet more ancient, more dead.