diamond street after the rain

By Margaret Norway 


After the raid the streets were swept,

The milk delivered and children to school,

The men went to port and the women—

The women’s lightbulb eyes illuminated

The decay of noon beyond windows

Where other women made promises

Through a door left ajar—

Of nylon stockings rolled to expose

Pale ankle fantasies. Of violet and chartreuse

Strewn across the bare oak floor.

Of sudor and chantilly lace slipping off

Rose hips for a kiss of cabernet rouge.

Whalers off the Hudson sought

After the pantomime leg beckoning

Through the slip of a burgundy curtain.

For the fall of freshwater pearls between

Sanguine breasts to cleanse brackish veins—

For crimson fingertips tracing dunes of collarbones.

Through a sliver in the dream,

The vanity is overturned, curved legs

Angled upward—defiant capitulation—and

A niveous chemise trembles on fractures of

A crystal chandelier; the splinters—glistening

Floes on the Garden of Shalimar spilled—

Pierce a bruised stole, and the sun-dust

Settles upon a strap heel caught at the threshold.