The Feminine Scale


Fall’s arrival—
and the wind rise
snaps flags, tree limbs,
newspaper pages in my hands.
I see her stroll to me, coat-bound,
hair black and shimmering silver under the moon.
A scarf, loose in folds of ginger and teal,
follows wildly as she moves.

At dinner, at conversation’s hedge,
I watch her thin brown hands,
fingertips sensual along
crystal stem, inlays of a jade bangle,
a camisole’s yellow silk.
We started as lovers.
Age and kinks and culture gaps
ended that in bed.
And so, we’re friends—
partners in license, in appetite,
in dramas with no demands.
I have her affection, habituated, offhand.
I know her daughter, her single malt Scotch,
the married men she travels with.


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