Gauguin quit the bank at 44.

I think it was Gauguin.

He always wanted the world

to be mesmerized by orange,

pink, and the color of the sea

drying out on some canvas.

It must have been all that mahogany

that got him to go. Do I have the right

guy? Men and women leave banks

all the time. My mother was too sick

to manage one. She emptied herself

every other hour and missed too many

calls. She called them cold. I could

never have my ear hang on ice.

Even if I have a fever I oblige

the blast of upending vision.

Maybe it was Pollock hunched

in his teller booth, ink blotting

the withdrawals and deposit slips.

He was gifting the world a chaos

you could hold in your hand.

Imagine a slip of Pollock

crumpled in your pocket.

You were too busy, or mad at the guy

blotching the books, or you’re

grateful to lose sight of that dreaded

figure of the day, reddening quietly

underneath all that marvelous glob.

Spencer Silverthorne’s chapbook Premium Brawn was a 2017 finalist in the Bateau Press Keel Chapbook Contest. His work is published or forthcoming in Assaracus, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Permafrost Magazine, Tammy, Vagabond City, and others. Originally from Philadelphia, he lives in Limpopo Province, South Africa where he teaches English in a primary school.

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