Envisioning entering Van Gogh's painting, "Cafe Terrace at Night."
all is brightly lit, awash in wise-man gold
and for a minute we are mesmerized.
I smile, stumble, stepping high,
unacquainted with the pitched cobblestone
and leggy, narrow avenues.
Here everyone sweeps gracefully along
from task to tea, from shop to home,
from evening dusk
to evening deeper still.
A slice of sky, framed erratically,
is etched in rooftop, chimney, gas-lit window.
There are fifteen moons, at least, within:
spatters of cream on a soft indigo blanket.
Beyond the café, an oblivion of black
collects itself in shapes of farther on
but we approach instead the golden terrace
where laughter falls and rises musically:
unprompted arias heralding stars and suns.