Evening. Storm, over.
Squealing, a weather vane
twists windward. Curtains
puff and toss above a sill.
On the sidewalk, I stop abruptly and gaze
at the open window of red stone house
built more than a century ago.
What I see is not a ghost but a form
as a ghost might take: slender, pale, solitary—
a young woman undressing in the breeze.
Mouth dry, I watch, remembering
a college girlfriend's first uncovering,
her sleek perfection, slow moistening,
sudden blood. That night began
as this one ends, with a walk
on Crocus Hill. Then, these arches,
turrets, and piazzas spoke
of the courage to imagine freely. Now,
after thirty years of failed dreams,
these ancient, opulent domiciles
and surprising open windows
still speak, assuaging the disappointment
of a promising future lapsed
and confirming the relentlessness
with which my death
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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