It is murky and dim down the street
Where an unforgiving lonely spinster
Lives almost protected under blankets
Of carefully crocheted elixirs.
Here- where the ghosts of ancestors,
Sitting on the moss of invisible oaks,
Offer kind words of encouragement
Adding seconds to midnight
When dreams turn to film noir.
There- where starry-eyed children
With handsome fathers
Would spin until dusk... or dawn
On a forgotten Ferris wheel
Left behind by the carnival
After roadsters skidded home along
Now- up on a vacant fifth floor
The weariest is carefully coifed and rouged,
Sitting on the other side of gold brocade.
Bloodless thighs wrapped in an opaque afghan,
She is clinging to a teacup of cold chamomile.
Later, she shares ambrosia with gods.
Then in a final gesture,
She scrapes and scrapes the bottom of her dish
Searching for one last drop.
© 2004 Marjorie Levine, in "Naked Amnesiac"