By Charles Bane Jr.
And then the snow began to fall. It fell throughout the city of Chicago, and on the prairie in the land of the Illinois, where towns dived into darkness when there were only oil lamps. It halted traffic. The city was set into a box and cotton laid atop; and my band of Rothschild, and Cooper, and others set out on foot for the Art Institute. Eddie Cooper was lame from Palsy. I carried him on my back as we trooped down the center of the silent avenue. Lord Rothschild smoked a cigar, and spoke softly to a girl. We were best friends; he was as fine as snow, and you felt he knew that in the rain that turned white in winter air, there was a story or poem that lay upon its empty page.
We reached the Art Institute. It blazed like the czar's palace; it was open, and we walked into its galleries. In a corner was my favorite painting: Rembrandt's "Christ". I stared. Rembrandt had searched out a young man in Haarlem's Jewish Quarter, and painted him from life. Except for the face. The face is Rembrandt's soul. I looked and was moved. I turned to make sure no one was watching me. Soundlessly, Rothschild appeared at my shoulder. "My dearest friend," he said.
Charles Bane Jr. is an American Poet. Curbside Splendor published his first book The Chapbook (July 2011) and will publish his second book New Poems (October 2012) via Concepcion Books, a new Curbside imprint.