Poem by Matthew Girolami 





    That day you translate
    tarot to me and I translate
    it back to you. I know enough
    to know inversion: poverty, love-
    lessness. We drink Bordeaux in bed
    and it tastes how I imagine
    the Hudson must: 
    wet leather, red iron.
    You promise we’ll burn
    sage next time. That evening
    I break down and separate
    the ribs from the wings of collards. 
    I chop and query the purple
    of red onion and why cutting
    exactly soothes me. This is a good knife:
    ceramic, and they don’t shatter (or not
    that I’ve seen). You open
    the window and arrange your self    
    in the crook of the frame. You
    put your feet up. This is a rare sight:
    your legs bare: 
    bruised by alcohol, bent by youth. 
    You ask if I tend to attract
    damaged people. I don’t know
    if I attract damaged people
    or what qualifies as damage
    but I’m certain that I’m not
    attracted to hematomas
    but galaxies; that I’m not attracted to blood
    but your overturned palette—that night
    we end up painting the apartment
    instead of a portrait. 
    The world needs more art and fewer artists. 
    I’ll give my camera to a photographer
    without a camera. You can give your water-
    colors back to the river.