Mag 295


painting by Rubens Peale

The red roses cluck

From their hideaway on the mantel

A dozen chiding tongues

Eyeless but persistent.

Three slices of chiffon cake,

Feather-soft crumbs crushed in

A magpies’ sticky-fingered beak.

She stirs, a room over,

Admiring her roundness

In the hallway mirror.

Corset incorrigibly close,

Her ponderous breasts

Leap up, two albinos

Gripped in velvet.