They sip cherry wine from china cups
whose golden rims are tarnished
still they please her and remind her
of being little sipping warm fennel tea
from these same china cups and being told
she would be strong again for this


an eastern rhythm comes and goes
resisting this she turns to the window
to watch a white curtain billow
skywards towards a cityscape
towards the garden and the trees


squandering time she watches
a solitary coin upon the nightstand
golden and aged, an inheritance
that will purchase nothing
she can think of, yet is worth
a fortune she is told. Idling there
gathering dust, it waits for her


a mulberry tree, a sapling planted
in late spring, moves in the breeze
she counts the beats of his heart
she gauges the tenor of summer


a kiss upon the closed lids
does not awake her
her lips are closed to speech
even to a whisper, these nights
she is sleeping
long before the stars come out