“Chagall Room” by Charlie Brice

We call it our Chagall Room because of
the six stained glass Chagall reproductions,
Christmas presents from Judy over the years,
embedded in the large windows of our porch.

The couch, too, is covered with a blanket
replete with circles, obelisks, rectangles,
floating cows, chickens, kissing couples, and
menorahs this Russian Jewish master encased

in the blues and crimsons of his dancing heart.
The room glows at dawn with besprent splendor—
spectral hues filtered through these joyous windows.
But when Judy is in the hospital, forced to obey

the tyranny of Crohn’s disease, absent from
this room she designed, windows and couch
lose their lively mottles, dissolve into
duns of longing, desire, despair.

That’s the way with rooms, isn’t it?
The nexus of life we breathe into them
lasts only so long as those inside their
vibrant glory breathe, last, abide.




Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Sunlight Press, Chiron Review, Plainsongs, I-70 Review, Mudfish 12, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere.

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