A black satin purse in her right hand,
her key to the birdcage elevator.
All night, thunder and rain
in a flash of lightning, his hands visible,
leaves of philodendron, a half-moon table.
They talk in near dark, eating from a basket.
She places her hand in his lap,
opens her legs as if God came from her,
fragrance pluming like smoke.
All night, his tongue like a fish
philodendron green smoothing half-light.
Now the bridge is illuminated, twin
arches rising, chalky, incandescent,
light abandoning the dome of sky,
river breathing azure, its surface frazzled,
the moon leaving her scuff marks.
Near the open window, dark of leaves.
Outside at dawn, the sun hidden,
a crow lowering itself on black wings
crosses before windows as gold as Rome.
The telephone, her mouth open.
I can see all the way into you, he says.
Leaves of philodendron pour from the table.
Honor Moore, "Violetta, 2000" from Red Shoes. Copyright © 2005 by Honor Moore. Used by permission of the author and W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Source: Red Shoes
(W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 2005)