The Tomb of Mallarmé

How are we to mourn the absence of colors
Azure, coral, the pearl of those immortal water-lilies?

Face and fingers find no temple to brood, as
Reflections epitaph on the window of his world.

Encaged, I wonder who wins –
We dirt-filled dreamers
Who grasp the old insect code
Or the ghost with heavened eyes gazing in and up
Leaving only a trail of syntax at his wake?

Answer: sometimes there are no graves.
From the hue of skies to
The tint of a woman’s secret reef
Both still bloom – his diamond left inheritance.


Michael K. Gause currently lives in the ‘burbs of Minnesota, where the absence of cultural stimulation forces him to turn his thoughts, like an exiled blacksmith, over and over the open flame of the will. His writing can be found in publications such as BigCity Lit, Half Drunk Muse, Dead Drunk Dublin, Big Bridge, Red River Review, Taj Mahal Revue, Poems Niederngasse, and Slow Trains, among others. His first self-published chapbook is The Tequila Chronicles (, and he is currently finishing two full length works. His website.