Lisa Russ Spaar



So unlikely, her approach across the avenue,
its sateen coal-blue plush, curry of the Indian bistros,
crowded awnings, exhaust, the semen-sweet boxwood
ushering us out of the crypted bowers of the park,
her shawl an emerald tryst, her elegant
“I’ve never done this before,” your pocketed hand
already on your wallet, her “I’ll return the money
to you – just a few hours –”  but we, with no address
to speak of, either, lightly lightened our load
as, exquisite, a  sherbet cipher of last gold
 melted into the cream facade of the Crescent.
A herd of black cabs ran in its courses
and the city’s ledger swelled to spilling, then settled.
She disappeared into the moon-washed moorings
of our highest rooms, curtains lifting every hair
of wealth’s ransomed clockwork, lair’s-breadth, untenanted.