The Flood

—when angels fell out of the bookcase along with old newspapers, torn road maps from decades past, and a prize edition of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry : suddenly the catalogue tumbled. The painting, the show, Peter Blume’s Recollection of the Flood, the studio where I slept as a child those nights when moonlight fingered the looming canvases, the forest of easels, the jug of brushes like a spray of pussy willow boughs—all surged. In Peter’s dream the restorers stand on scaffolding to paint the frescoed shapes between lines the flood has spared: and won’t some massive wave of oil and shit always storm a city’s heart? Restore, restore— there on the ghostly grid the angels dance holding hands in a two-dimensional ballet of bliss, taking on substance with each cautious dab to whirl with wings spread over the very rich hours of what we’ve lost. For they

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