I was thirty-two,
between things, and my father
drove me to Kingston High
where I substituted for sixty bucks a day,
sitting alone in the social studies office,
eating my turkey sandwich amid walls of obsolete textbooks,
flipping through centuries of boredom and terror,
collapse and restoration.
There in the margin,
beside the eighteenth-century French court,
in a girl’s sugary pink script, the word Beautiful—
Shadow girl in the noisy tile commons,
jean-squeezed and bra-broached,
taking ten minutes to study
between limp fries and lipstick.
You might’ve been tired all morning
when suddenly something said
Here is hardly a choice. Across the world,
bronze benches beckon thrones
under green canopies. Young men step smart
to your granite curb, and sunshine fills
fabulous rooms, easing across a downy bed
where a silken pillow
holds your lovely head.