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.