Crepuscule with Paula

Does realism get your vote? It gets mine.
The plants with their insatiable thirst for appearances,
the heart-stopping 7:00 p.m. air moonlighting as a pressed-cardboard Korean ashtray
(server, modest coaster) decorated with a single blondish branch
holding six leaves and a piece of rose-colored fruit (pear, plum, ripe peach)
slightly raised as if applied to the flat, creamy space behind
flecked with light gray, light green, and brown marks of varying size
from pinpricks to ashes, pencil (it looks like) to brush.
The romance of the windowpanes (I’m squinting a little) has nothing
to do with the misguided view, the one with the Fates schmoozing
under the maroon awning of the high-rise (schmoos is more like it)
and the embarrassed-looking sycamores revealing for all they’re worth
in their slightly fictionalized but emotionally accurate way, which 
contributes to the overall tone
without detracting from the realistic participation,
a motorbike taking the corner too fast, a cat knowing the worst that can possibly happen and managing to avoid it,
which could be the key signature if not for a free-standing
radiance just outside, unmoored, a hint of plum or Anjou pear.

More Poems by Charles North