The Woman in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks
She likes the dark of the diner.
She likes this dress best—creamed-cut
maroon that exposes her arms.
She likes the light, but not the unflattering
brightness when pouty lipstick wears off
and makeup cakes.
She likes this window, a prison that wedges
seamlessly and separates two continents:
one a story that contains a man leaving his wife,
his children. Her not begging or crying
and one a street filled with skyscrapers
where every turn yields results
where storefronts display need.
She likes film noir of menace.
She likes the smell of stillness, which is crazy
and faint. Like her hair with ashes or henna.
She likes a gas station opened.
The making of what must be time on the move
and his hands no longer moving over her.
She likes January. Sidewalks aren’t stressed
with clarity. So slushy, worse than skim milk.
She likes theater. Dreams so wide
with men, circling in their hushness,
sipping their coffee or committed to murder.
John Milkereit lives in Houston and has completed a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop. His work has appeared in various literary journals including San Pedro River Review, The Orchard Street Press, and from several previous writing challenges from The Ekphrastic Review. Lamar University Press published his last collection of poems entitled Drive the World in a Taxicab. He is a 2021 Pushcart nominee.
The Ekphrastic Review
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