Curtains flutter, breach the morning stillness.
Threads of sun bright-stitch the floor.
A dark red blanket swathes the bed,
somber but shielding your body
from the world.
How long’s it been since the dream
was of any worth to you:
a peach-skinned girl with gold hair
down to her shoulders,
perched atop the gate,
her lithe legs swinging through your sleep.
The dresser photographs half-smile
through dusty glass.
Your mother’s crystal talks
shine and counter-shine to a gold-leafed mirror.
Yellow letters, smudged-ink postcards,
ceramic elephants and shot glasses from Las Vegas:
the past is ever-present but inaccessible.
You slowly rub your eyes.
Despite your languor,
the hours are like a locomotive coming through.
Each of them is gone
more than it was ever here.
You live alone.
The world too lives alone.
John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Paterson Literary Review, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.