Outside, the air is crisp with wrinkled bones,
while the violet hours
slowly discard its poorly dressed skin
over the starved body
before slinking atop the frosty ground.
when the crescent moon
slopes saffron rays upon a lone woman
in a house gnarled with bordered evergreens.
Inside, long, white drapes
sweep the brown-carpeted floor,
as she sits by a squeaky window with its chipping paint
worn down from years of famished termites and rotting rain,
reeling in her foamed suspension
for the visiting ghost to
roll out of its pockmarked void at the chimes
of midnight bells.
Dung smoke knits the sleeping cold:
a wisp of pale sweater slightly puckered
where the skirting tears,
when it lurks beneath the gold-crocheted chair
that is wrought with ivory roses and cat's-eye stitch;
the woman stirs.
Eyes shift, nose sniffs the flowing scent,
tongue darts to taste the turning air.
Then she leans out, with clawed whisper
of cold fingertips,
reaches over to stroke
the low-hanging stumps,
smooths back the sloppy curls of its silvered mane,
grasps the unfurled hands,
and sways to the caressed notes
of a carved mandolin.