59. Evening

Dust sifted down
Through her eyelashes, a pale
Mask across her face, dry
Talcum she would lick, forget
To taste. Through the fine hairs
Of her back, it crept
Doggedly, then welling
At her waist. In Riah’s lap
Her knitting needles lay.

The flowers on her dress
Grew dim with it. A gauzy dark, like
Curtains of spun glass, would waver
In the room, and web James
From her sight. Beside the yellow lamp
He propped his book. Tom too, leaning
Toward the kerosene, wearing
Spectacles, and frowning at the paper.
Making out the picture, she saw
Roosevelt, and felt
Some better. Wind whipped: smudge
Of faces blurred, returned.

Even when the wind died, you heard
Dust. Waiting for sleep, you heard
And did not hear it, as with
Falling snow. A hiss, vibrating
Hush within your head:
A listening.

In the morning, when
Their bodies rose, their shapes
Lay in white, like angels
On the sheets. The dust
Had drawn them.

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