Peel Slowly and See
Poem by Shenan Prestwich

November 5, 2013

The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” plays
as I watch through the windshield, sheltered
in a steel sound chamber
as one passerby, his face revealed
to the man before him on the sidewalk
by an incidental shift of his umbrella,
drops the blue thing to the ground
for an embrace.
Seizing one another in the downpour,
their mouths peel into grins that spread
like a slow stain of sunset
ripping the sky.
It plays like a movie poorly dubbed
by an incongruous score,
its gentle language, soft on the tongue like sweet wine,
untranslatable to the cycles
of viola wild and menacing, plucked
in time to the rain on the roof
like a dark rāga I fall through


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