The art nouveau oak moulding, chipped and cracked,
barely hanging from a rusty nail,
begs restoration. Klimt’s young maids untacked,
1910 doors, the flailing clothing rail,
fin de siècle mirror, long have lacked
a master’s living hand. In the hot stale
air of the cluttered loft its owner packed
and fled, dust lies decades deep in a pail.
I see patina, scratches, and fine grain,
not a dandy who fled from the crime,
the desiccated splatter of his brain.
I see myself with chisel, hammer, stain,
old, withered, not him in his prime
tying cravats and cursing the profane.
13 July 2017