The young woman looks back, beautiful but unsure,
in an ad from an old magazine, back of a curio shop.
Regal and fresh, but I can see something in those eyes,
a crack in the diadem, a tarnish on the world of gold.
A woman I love, whose feet I didn’t think touched earth,
who was beauty and artistic royalty, is nursing wounds,
gone to rehab, gone to sleep awhile. We all have poison.
Her diadem cracked. I now see the tarnish in her world of gold.
Some other era, an evocative moment sells perfume, pride.
Manicured and demurred, and still the shadow falls on grace.
The long ago model and the woman I love, and my lost soul,
all have poison, coming in through wounds, going out through fangs.
I go to the counter, buy the magazine, and a whizz-bang novel.
A teenage girl, smiling and friendly, takes my money, chats.
I make small talk, and know it’s another mask on what’s real.
Is there shadows in her eyes? Can’t say so on company time.
We all have poison, and we all know fear and loss and rage.
Diadems crack and there’s tarnish on the world’s of gold above.
I’ll buy some daisies for my love on visitation day tomorrow.
Maybe that model outran the shadow falling over her.