At the End
Eleven milky leather chairs
engulf the full stretch
of the room, soaking up the ringing stab
of heels on marble.
At five a.m., she picks her way through
the hotel reception, mindful not to wake the dozing
lying like a god across his pale throne.
She is at once aware that her legs,
attenuated in skirt and slip as they work
coolly across the floor
in twelve hours will force her
back home. Turning slowly from him,
she moves into the sober night, tense
against the insolent touch of the door.
Temperate, uncomfortable hands
trace the guilt-edged path to the gardens,
where she stares for a full hour
into the indigo pool.
�1999 by Jacquelyn Arnold. All rights reserved.