Dour Mistress, dressed in black from veil to boot-heel,
pearl button at her neck,
pearl button sewn through that thin skin:
she walks down concrete stairs.
Her ring scrapes the iron railing,
metalic soundwaves rushing down the street,
empty of everything except the mucky snow
that loiters in piles at the end of January.
With every step, a solemn gust takes her skirt,
moving now like a piston: left and right and left again.
See the grayness of her eyes,
the straightness of her lips,
the quietness she wears as a shawl.
her flowing gown.
The pinching in her throat
and golden song
pools in her mouth:
she can taste it,
in the water,
and the disturbances ever-age her.
now old again.
The flames follow
along the pattern of the reflection:
now dying away,
now kindling up,
now blazing in earnest,
now spitting embers at the stars.
When she steps
from out the puddle
of melted December,
to iron discs.
The button clasps her neck again,
and her liquid-silver gown
becomes a mourning shawl