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The One Before

Jane Urquhart
From:   The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan. The Porcupine's Quill, Inc., 1995. pp.14-15


The one before
walked in these rooms
gazed in these mirrors
and searched her thighs for flaws

opening his cupboard
pouring this decanter
her mind set sail for landscapes
where you might stop
to choose a gift for her

a snowdrop pressed inside a book
birds frozen in a cage

the hours filled with
preservation of her flesh
her hair and face and muscle
till laying down her brush
she felt your absence speak

as though you hadn't nodded when
you passed her in the garden
or kept a place
beside you at the table

now I fill these rooms
and search the mirrors
I listen to the sound of strings
caressed hy fountains

those imperfections in the glass
her face       thighs
lost in silver

the ghost travels with me
to your chamber



Jane Urquhart's works copyright © to the author.


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