When a maker of images goes deaf,
he sees a world clariﬁed by silence,
a lens wept over the things unspoken.
Doubtless this is why we ﬁnd the man
facedown on a drawing table, hands
on his head to shelter him from ﬂocks
that feast on sleep. The blood in his hair,
the lynx, the bats, more than beast, less
than human, all dark fuel for the lantern.
The etcher’s needle shines as it cuts.
It takes enormous care, to draw the curve
of a manacle, to rust it shut,
not with neglect, but with the precision
of a scar. Night sweeps the avenues
into brothels, asylums. These sure proportions,
they give to nightmare a logic, an edge
to deepen the line where the acid pours.
Across the cobblestones of Madrid,
lamps beat the laundry of their shadows.
The hearts of the city loosen their ﬁsts.
If reason sleeps, as the etching says,
it dreams. Like any theater, the blacker
the wings, the more ﬁercely we believe.
— Bruce Bond
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