GHAZAL OF DISGUISE
Morning calls his name, handing him this task.
He drops his razor and slips on a mask.
She always turns her back on his old songs.
She’s memorized all his empty masks.
He faces her, firm as a fact—stiff and formal--
A rite. A mass. A dance without music. A masque.
She slides past him along their vacant hall,
stopping to kiss each aging, bloodless mask.
Soft blue air escapes from black light.
He pulls night to his skin—a taut and perfect mask.
Together they map out their flat steps.
She exits, leaving her mark on his mask.
NOSTALGIA OF A WORKNIGHT
She’s weary as an unused toy—unwrapped,
not touched. She’s not hidden but by herself
in back of a toybox, under the snapped
off arm of her last doll. She thinks a shelf
might be nice. She’d like to hear the soft click
as her nightlight went dark and slipped
into a sleep of girlhood. She’s just tired,
not asking kisses or a storybook.
The workday aches. She’d like someone to cook
for her. She wants warmth. She doesn’t need fire.