A Visit to Aunt Francesca

PIGMENT of wax apples bleeds into
The glass refraction of a little sun
On marble table-tops, and light through wine
Purples our fingers toying with the glass.
It was or never was. At Aunt’s command
My hands are poles to orbit colored yarn
Flowing away in little strands of light
From Sunday Fauntleroys and good behavior
In a dark room divided by the sun.
Three black hairs mustachio her lip
And she was beautiful. The Sèvres cup
Is cracked and glued. I think I hated her.
And that changed too. But still we may not smoke.
Color fades from the daguerreotypes
That manteled all our days. A little more
And all the light is gone. The yarn is gone
In baskets for the night. Only that glimpse —
I cannot reach the rest — a pale gray hand,
A dry kiss like an epigram, a door,
And footsteps sounding on our last good-nights.