The Boy in Red, by Jake Sheff
The Boy in Red
Debating the merits of high- and low-
Tuscan machinery – like lutes and flutes,
Embellished tales that refine the senses
But avert the actual – we sought only
To accompany the icons, dissolute
And charming, on their way to the eye.
By God, the enchanting nobility was not
The receptacles nor what they contained,
But the idea of storage – so urbane
And homely – that eluded the absent-
Minded brains all around us: the lousy
Shepherd donating his flock to the absolute
Wherewithal; becoming the painting and
A nuisance. At no point in our belonging –
Me and this peasant boy – did we perjure
The nymphs of satisfaction, graciously
Beguiling yet always worth knowing. The sun’s
Cache of verisimilitude put on its cloak for you
To cast me a glance so furtive, well thought-out
And dismissive, it could hardly be considered
Unreasonable to never make up your mind.
Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible.
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