Women Who Love Angels

They are thin
and rarely marry, living out
their long lives
in spacious rooms, French doors
giving view to formal gardens
where aromatic flowers
grow in profusion.
They play their pianos
in the late afternoon
tilting their heads
at a gracious angle
as if listening
to notes pitched above
the human range.
Age makes them translucent;
each palpitation of their hearts
visible at temple or neck.
When they die, it’s in their sleep,
their spirits shaking gently loose
from a hostess too well bred
to protest.

Judith Ortíz Cofer, "Women Who Love Angels" from The Latin Deli. Copyright © 1993 by Judith Ortíz Cofer.  Reprinted by permission of University of Georgia Press.
Source: The Latin Deli (University of Georgia Press, 1993)
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