(In memory of Mark Flaum)


On my walls

were sunflowers

fields with haybundled clouds

star blessed skies

available as sustenance

for teenaged angst


There was a matador and bull

On her wall

a gift I brought her

a romantic dream

dispelled in the ruedo

with the spilling of blood


Driving through Arles

magic all around us

Jeannette’s mouth agape

with the wonder of fairyland

I was surprised

you also showed up old friend



I saw you slouched

at the yellow café

and again at the bridge

your red beard

turning grey

your sad eyes turning towards me slowly


from the hospital window

I could see you smile

and wave

while I walked hand in hand with Jeannette

drunk with joy


that was Arles then

to her the corrida

had none of Hemingway’s grandeur

was an abattoir

gone public


she saw too much red in the ring

too little yellow

much like you did old friend

at the end

everywhere black and red

that fateful night


that starless starless night
Albert Katz

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