Twilight Child (Divinations, #4 of 5)

A depressing piece, but I thought it one of the better ones. Another female character study; to me the most telling aspect is that she could be of any age.

Twilight Child

Another glittering frigid April sun
Shivering trees and coasting birds
  prove the wind
Playground demons shriek enjoyment

Windows all Venetian blinded
  condense this cheap basement
All lightly frosted in dust -
  even the baby oil bottle
    empty on its side in the bath

Lobotomy box scrolling
  captions in silence
No music all news nothing new

One pet lovebird flits free alone
Home to her cage
  to get all her needs met
Kitchen lure of yesterday’s
  stale human food
    lost in the nicotine murk

Sunlight slits the table top
Spoon crash splatters a few tea drops
No response no reaction no response
She flames another crumpled cigarette
So always weary drained
The ash begins to droop

Panties the color of dried blood
Wisp of faded old silk blouse
  unbuttoned

Her mouth dull, flattens the tea
Straw hair entangled splitting
Flaking skin parched enough to write on
Drinking glass fingerprints
  dust her body too

Once-blanched teacup dimly yellowing
Dying reds oranges yellows greens blues
Once-brilliant painted birds in grateful flight
  over a sunlit meadow -
    cherry trees
All chafed to dullness
  like her once-garish makeup
    like men’s interest – customers are few

Cigarette ash drops
  – proving gravity -
    puff! settles into a spot
The closest thing to a tear
  left to her

(June/94)

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