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You are a neon city, darling

filled with sparking glass-backed tubes

and clinking birds. Rest your weary head -

-so light! -

upon your gentle chest, conduct those symphonic bellows

of your lungs. Oh, I wish I could hear you clear! Your instrument breathes in tune

with the mountains, with the sea. You scarcely breathe, darling, but when you do, I would live a lifetime by your side

to hear it again.

When the night fades, so does your metal. Let me describe you again.

You are a sunrise, darling,

all edges and shadows and silhouettes, gleaming knife-edged in your blooming orchestra of colour

like a hundred burgundy flares arcing across a starfield.

You are decorated for a feast, prepared with distant planets

and a side of meteors.

And yet your head hangs heavy still. Dear, why do you not look around? Your midnight city

is suffuse with gold, a flush of rose —

not those crass red things that smell like nothing, you know,

nor those darlings of the garden breeders, putting out delicacies all year round

rude guests those roses are, building up their grave mounds through their heyday

petal by browning petal, caressing their self-built tombs in nameless sleep come lightest frost —

But I forget myself. Darling, you are a rose: strong, heady

as those wild roses at the beach, gripping hard-won sand and blooming

choked by salt-toothed weedkillers meant for you

and dashing still.

Sly, superior, free.

I stand before you, you neon city

you wily rose

and behold as you perfume the lilac dawn

with soundful nectar of the divine.

This was written in one shot as a piece dedicated to a 'painting' made of thin strips of tissue paper of a thousand colours cut and folded in intricate ways over a softly glowing white panel. It produced an effect like soft, borderless stained glass. I hope to see it again soon.

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