Toile de Jouy

Toile was papered on the walls there–
Tiny figures, black on white, were
Picnicking by inked-in trees and
He leaned in to tell a secret,
Heart to heart and lip to ear, while
She, I knew, for all her coolness,
Crackled like a naked wire.

Toile was papered on the walls, the
Black and white and black and white and–
Toile was papered on the walls, the
Walls that made the house a home–the
Walls that made the room a box–the
Walls that sheltered–walls imprisoned–
Toile was papered on the walls there–

You said the door was left unlocked–
The door is jammed–the door is locked–the
Toile you papered on the walls here
Tears but never quite comes off–the
Door is jammed–the door is locked–the
Black and white and black and white and–
Lies in ribbons on the floor–you
Said the door was left unlocked–
But maybe–here–is something you–
Forgot–

The falling rain–the falling glass–
Here is something you forgot–it
Made a sound like breaking bells, then
Fell like rain and shards of glass.
The door was jammed–the door was locked–the
Window made a sound like bells
Then fell and filled the room with glass.

The toile you papered on the walls there
Lay in ribbons with the glass, like
Molted down, in black and white. I
Left the room of glass and ribbon,
Climbed into the falling rain;
I left the place where once were lovers
Picnicking and whispering, where
Toile was papered on the walls.

—Courtney Watts

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