After Beauty


With one elbow on the mantel,
Death smokes a cigarette
and, eyes half-closed, clocks
every cocktail we consume.

More accurately it watches you.
In spite of having switched
from Jameson’s to ginger ale
you continue to waste away.

At ninety pounds you should be
easy pickings. Why is it taking so long?
you ask me, and I keep it light:

Ask your buddy.

Caught up in watching
your wary pas de deux, at first
I fail to see reflected on the wall
one of Death’s many shadows.

Equally attentive,
that shadow taps its toe,
sucks its teeth,
keeps an eye on me.

                              Yvonne Postelle

(from the book, After Beauty)