My Chagall is not an original.

It is a print.

Which we found together,

my lover and I,

in Warsaw, Poland.

 

Bought from an actor

at a Jewish theater

who rolled it up in a rubber band and took

my slote with a smile.

 

It has a woman’s face

that peers out at you,

studies you,

long and dark and sad.

A colorful farm scene beyond

and signature figures fly through the air

all wrapped up inside a red chicken with blue around the borders.

 

I love my Chagall

because it reminds me

of our travels together

in those early days --

hand in hand

arm in arm

our interest in one another acute.

 

He threatens some days

to take it down

off the wall,

claiming fatigue

wanting something new

for our bedroom --

shared now --

not rented for the week.

 

“No,” I protest,
“Never.”

 

“It’s not even a real Chagall,” he argues.

Breaking off another piece of me.