Poem of the Month

Eliot at The Albemarle

Morning birds chit chat on the streets as he enters
          its tall gray,
his return punctual to a fault, with his almost smile
his face the inscrutable mask behind which words burn.

There were three to choose from and the fourth,
topless, held her left breast, clutching it in her hand
as if it wore a heart on the outside
            nipple stencil not in vogue yet.

Three—a blonde, brunette and redhead—
wearing the usual flimsy chemises of the day,
            seated in a booth
with a red velvet tablecloth and doily running the length
of the sentence he had—three weeks in Marsgate
to feel his way through The Fire Sermon.

           All in babydolls.
He went for the redhead. Her nonchalance appealed
more than that almost black hair and tiara.
The blonde, emaciated, had a jaw could rip a man.