Ninotchka

Indifferently, her eyes will trace your hand

That stoops to smooth her graceful serpentine

Ceasing a moment only to define

The faithful boundaries of that strange land

That bred her silence: Egypt’s lazy sand,

The River of Sleep…shapes more or less divine,

Perpetuations of our world. Her spine

Rolls gently as you pause before the grand

Arch of her back, her taut tail like mast

That lengthens, it seems, endlessly. At last,

She settles, daringly, upon your knee

In effortless elegance. How many

Lives have suffered as painlessly as yours

To ponder beauty in its briefest hour?

(published in Pivot, Brooklyn 2001)