“Behind The Safety Of The Walls”


All day she plays at chess with the bones of the world:

Favored (while suddenly the rains begin

Beyond the window) she lies on cushions curled

And nibbles an occasional bonbon of sin.


Prim, pink-breasted, feminine, she nurses

Chocolate fancies in rose-papered rooms

Where polished higboys whisper creaking curses

And hothouse roses shed immortal blooms.


The garnets on her fingers twinkle quick

And blood reflects across the manuscript;

She muses on the odor, sweet and sick,

Of festering gardenias in a crypt,


And lost in subtle metaphor, retreats

From gray child faces crying in the streets.


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