The boy falling from a balcony three-storey-high
is not falling. Rather, he challenges the rules
of attraction, floating in a bottomless abyss
framed by the black lines
of a comic strip panel. In penumbra,
the action lines smear and fade
from white to red to form the capital letters
of a stop sign. But this does not end here.
I reach my hand out into the viscous substance
of the dark. The fragrance of obsidian
is like the white clay kabuki actors
smear their faces with when they become
oni, Japanese ogres with eyes crimson red
like the wounded head of Apollinaire on a snowy day
of when he saw
a bombshell fall into the trenches.
I watch the ochre yellow and cyan blue fumes
of Munch’s The Scream from the interior
of its wooden frame. The paper canvas rolled up
inside of the devil’s pocket, the varnish
and the oil paints crack and chip off,
and my face falls again toward the grid
of the wooden board of a game of go
where no one has the need for a face.