She inhabited the pale yellow
sweater as though expecting
an eviction notice
the brightest residence in the neighborhood
that spring evening
surrounded by the lingering dullness of
more wintery dwellings

She penetrated the crowded café
flashing a mysterious smile
like a detective's badge,
handed a crumpled warrant
to the cashier, and
subpoenaed a cup of coffee

Replacing the smile with a
vacant pout,
she started to leave
but then appeared to remember,
as though receiving a revelation,
something overlooked

She looked me over
like an insurance adjuster finding a
dent in the hood
that told a story different from
the accident report

Simultaneously delighted and chagrined,
she disappeared suddenly,
leaving behind
a pale yellow ghost
that slowly faded into
a dozen unconcerned conversations


back to the poetry page