at nine o'clock the kilgore pub
holds its ritual service for the
evening flock. and one by one
we pile inside, form phalanxes
of thirsty souls who relinquish luck's
change barely spared from charon,
the landlord, and ex-wives. and
greedy eyes radarscope for fresher faces
and plead their novice rhetoric
to bartending juries.

and i thought i saw you watching me watch
you on the night when toothless harry made
snow angels on the window glass so
passersby might stop to chat. but all
they did was point and laugh and
inside we prayed to vodkagod and proffered
thanks for ice cubes and homes and
practiced restraint of wayward arms of
inner truth.

there's a novel or a poem in
sunken cheeks and too-weak drinks and
seldom-noticed-corner-hogging spiders that
seduce tonight's prey in showy webs and seem
to dance with table legs after my fourth drink.

and i dub myself a still-life snow angel,
arms outstretched in something's breathy fog --
frozen pale with all sides splayed under frosted
showcase glass.

and until i meet you in unclaimed corners
(and replenish womanthreads)

i go home a lady.