Before Romeo, in the bare room,
shotgun to his mouth cried out
the life on a small hill,
before the tableau or nature morte
was caught on camera, the super
surveilling the cleanup job,
the men silent, to each his own,
the traffic buzzing by in the heat,
the desolation of heaven
glimpsed through the blue sky,
through crusty vertical blinds
the rarified field of a planet,
before inhabiting a nightmare
there was peace, as long as insane,
there was safety in being ill,
playfulness, colours, a husband
hanging out at the house,
a magistrate in the bathtub,
the bed unmade, the pretty girl
filing at the station details
of the harassment
leaked not for personal gain
but a deep sense of disgust
conveyed by the alphabet.
What is exactly this power?
This priesthood ordained
by a deprived book of verse?
Through the crack under the door,
the light of the other side
flashes for the voyeur.