The door is half open to someone else’s life
and everything on this side divides evenly:
wall split by shadow, table almost tidy,
glass nearly empty, and girl in between--
her warm skin a faience pitcher,
the apple of her cheek a sign of fever,
one china hand ready to answer
the sudden summons of her master.
Maybe she shirks her parlor duty
to dream of something far away,
leaving her station, refusing to stay
in this world, wandering to another
as she drowses in a secret corner,
sheltered from the golden light,
her rampart a high-backed chair
and a Turkish rug, and a private despair.
Or maybe she doesn’t dream at all.
Dressed in lace and felt, a satin swelter,
maybe her beauty is peace, her stillness rest,
and there’s nothing but heat to blush her.
John Tessitore has been a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, and a biographer. He has taught British and American history and literature at colleges around Boston and has run national policy studies on education, civil justice, and cultural policy. Most recently, he has published poems in the American Journal of Poetry, Canary, The Wallace Stevens Journal, and forthcoming in Wild Roof and the Sunday Mornings at the River anthology.
The Ekphrastic Review
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