Violetta, 2000


Honor Moore

A black satin purse in her right hand,
condoms, spermicide,
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.