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GRAFFITI HEART

after The Heart, South of Naples, Jim Dine 1986

By Lisa Wiley

You leave this graffiti on my heart,

splatter red, orange, yellow until it glows.

The blues conspire to keep us apart:

they circle, they swim, try to dart

in, surging on electric radios.

You leave this graffiti on my heart.

Out late at night with paints from your cart,

you spray and you tag up to your elbows.

The muted blues conspire while we’re apart.

I wonder - a turf war or abstract art?

Someone will catch you from her windows.

You leave this graffiti on my heart.

Like any young man, you think you’re so smart;

gone are the days, son, you lined up in rows.

The blues stay and linger while we’re apart.

The waters you swim I couldn’t chart,

no way to track or tally your woes.

You slashed this graffiti on my heart -

the blues continue to keep us apart.

LISA WILEY will read from and sign copies of “Chamber Music,” her new collection of villanelles published by Finishing Lane Press, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St. She is an English professor at Erie Community College and lives in Williamsville with her husband, three children and two orange cats.