Eve and the Archangel in Paradise

All day without knowing, the woman dreamed
him, between Flaubert, Cezanne and flat turns
of cars and yellowed torsos, then confirmed
by neon what she missed. It seemed extreme

this loneliness. She waits for him to leave,
rubs her thumb past eyes, feels the press of arms
like liquid spilled across her breast. No harm.
She sleeps, naked and alone, wakes to thieves

stealing cars below. She counts six red birds
perched atop a chain-link fence, then outlines
with her finger the black freighter, anchored

beyond the breakers. She wants to tell him
of color and fences. Instead, she folds
red silk squares, stacks apples in wooden bowls.

Tia Ballantine

If you've any comments on this poem, Tia Ballantine would be pleased to hear from you.