Ira Sadoff

In Madrid

When the Lord God went belly-up, out of business,
little brats went shin-kicking through the streets of Lapaloma.
The Watchmaker closed up shop to peel wallpaper off the Vatican.
Neitzsche was in my dream too, in a tedious spat
with Anna Mahler: the syphilis was invisible, so he thought,
these are my thoughts. Sunny, a hundred degrees. Frozen daiquiris.
I wasn’t going to let any sordid affair spill my happiness.
Until the Romanian chipped away at the pieta.
He was driven, bi-polar, mood disordered:
at least they could name him this. As for the dark stuff,
blank page after blank page, motives sail by
like an afternoon cloudburst, and I don’t want to be belabor
the matador, how speared he was, or how she came to me
in a black dress out of Manet and took me in her mouth,
and I’m whispering Dear God,
the way we talk about the old rhymed poetry
with a reverence for clarity and a few simple rules of behavior,
don’t make me feel we’re all drives and cracked hardware,
wired wrong: I want to blame someone, I want to
paint over the underground, where I’m waiting at 3 A.M.
for the train, and yes, I’m sure I’m being followed.

Ira Sadoff
In Madrid first appeared in The American Poetry Review.