Where is your silver tea set, that gown of fine
embroidered silk, its train of gauze?
Ropes of pearl wound at your neck,
your tiara’s ruby diadem offset by the dark
waterfall of your hair— so self-
possessed, your bearing wrought by mountain
life, cold air, knowledge of the vengeful gods
whose hungers root, white and deep, hard
within the writhing animal’s entrails.
Askance, you look upon the roaring crowd
at carnival, eight thousand strong who’ve come
to gape at such uncommon beauty. You know the fog
will sift and bloom through centuries,
lay cloudy vermeil upon dissolving bones.
And we wonder if, beneath the city streets
breast-plated with garbage, the blood of some
old sacrifice still smolders, slow
flame the rain can’t quench.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.