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BellaOnline Literary Review
The King and I by Karen Sorbello


Small Portrait

Leonore Wilson

Late afternoon the resplendent Brahms pours down
from the dark stairwell as the lamps are slowly

lit bright as desire that does not remember itself--
wooden boat tied, unleashed from the dock

where the errant water was just beginning to run

backwards, where the mist from the waves wet your face
this morning as you walked over the white bridge

to smell the splendor of wild roses that bloomed
big as summer onions near the river garden….

oh here now at this table by the open fire you linger
in back of the heavy damask curtain,

wanting what? for it all to stay like happiness,
like the fresh dahlias the graying couple

sold you at the market, not fade like the dying fuchsia
before you now in the glass vase, ravaged

anthers curling like broken strings of a viola, the instrument
opposed to the flower which just yesterday

you bent into and remarked to your beloved how you discovered
tiny chapel wedding bells, bridal-white, stamped

on the petal’s purple, oh slow exhilaration for you both long-married
saying finger-taps of a pianist had surely put them there….

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