Her voice was strong and husky

the effect of smoking a thousand

cigarettes over as many nights.

In front of a canvas in her gray room

a paintbrush in her hands,

the palette skewed towards ocher.

she dipped it in to make her mark

signing softly to herself

a song she didn’t write, but loved.

Then she was singing no more

the dark had swept over her eyes.

In the twilight between the ecstasy

of living and the unknown of dying

she showered in the golden rain of

a Klimt painting, dazzled in the light

of endless Paprika Plains.

She wrote lyrics in an unknown language

and found new chords to set them to.

The newness was overwhelming.

There was a great relief in forgetting.

Then she awoke.

and learned to be Joni again.