Waltz Down Rue des Halles

Matisse said that every country has its own
light, while the butcher explains

each muscle has its own flavor
depending on nationality and feed.

A Greek painter can divide sunlight
into color, and colors into hues,

which is why he has a key to the church
to paint his humble Michelangito

when divinely moved. Itís been 25 years
and he still works, and the orthodox

do not push for its end. You were given
your own key, able to distinguish the weather

by the scent of my wrist, the shallow cave
of my neck. I understand your temper

through your hands. If they are tired
you are tired. If your fingers volunteer

a walk through my hair, youíre alive
and happy, even when you donít know


Christopher Ankney's poems have recently appeared or forthcoming from Burnside Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review and DIAGRAM, among other places. He shapes impressionable minds with his ideas on writing, literature and cultural studies. He and his wife Lynn make their home in Chicago, where their Italian greyhound begrudges the cold. (cankey@colum.edu)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761