Poem of the Month

Eliot at The Albemarle


Morning birds chit chit on the streets as he enters

        its tall gray,

his return punctual to a fault, with his almost smile

and a 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 were a heart

in need of stat. 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 baby dolls.

          He went for the redhead. Her nonchalance appealed

more than dyed black hair and tiara. The blonde, emaciated,

had a jaw could rip a man.