Julianne Buchsbaum


My tutor's bedroom is cluttered with lectures.
This past week I have shorn my hair,

burned my letters, and in a suit of Harris
tweed I delete all thoughts of mawkishness.

Avid for new vistas, we pay to sleep
on a velvet divan while the refinements

of night are procured at the edge of town
by libertines. Expenditures are endless.

Outside in the greasy sky, oil-colored
birds fly and fly. The phantoms of old

philosophers foul the place with colloquies
on solitude. (By marriage or death, they will

enter gardens.) In posh clubs, we are custodians
of wigs and prostheses, lovers of artifice.

She tutors me among flower vendors,
roving wolves, abandoned Volvos. The fissures

of her lips filled with red, she leaves in hot
pursuit of something ripe by the piers.