I never failed in my attempts at beauty,
because it was not a question of veneers
or your grandmother's collection of lurid glass.
That summer you were her custodian,
hanging sheets out to dry so they smelled
of the dry grass, just about the only thing,
you said, you'd done all day. But it'd been years
since this was your home, you were filled
with the montage of another city. A separate
family could've fit in the suite below.
When the bed groaned at us, you dragged
the mattress into another empty room. Our sleep
frictionless, yet still I could not afford it.
I slid beside you like the heavy drapes
pulled tight across the picture windows. Back east,
elsewhere, you'd left some feeling.