Girl at Piano
Rings of blue smoke swirl
above her head like kisses
floating off a palm, or like balloons
of varnished silk that stretch
and lift her toward a parting draft.
A mix of comic strip and something raw
that worked in Lichtenstein's pastiche
of lines and polka dots; yet, somehow,
coming from her lips these figures
make us shift and sip - and sip again.
What is it makes us look away
as if remembering things to do at home?
Is it the clear distinction: what she sings
and what she knows? That unexpected
nimbus of true thought?
Easier, no doubt, to look through
little comic blocks, dream-like
and Byzantine -- present,
yet one remove from present scenes.