Maxwell Bodenheim

1892 - 1954 / Mississippi / United States

Portraits

You were in the room, yet your body
Was stone cut in drooping lines
And hued with decorous puzzling pinks and browns.
Even your hair seemed an elfin wig
Carelessly thrown upon your stone head.
And your eyes were hollows cradling broken shadows.
When you spoke your body did not change:
It was as though a flock of sleepy birds
Had issued from your stone mouth.
II
Vague words tapered off to pale weariness,
And sunlight was night smiling in his sleep.
Your hands moved as though they sought a dying emotion:
Your lips, drawn back, seemed evading sound.
When twilight fell upon us,
Like night striving to forget his dream,
We had long since passed out of the room.
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