Every Night In December
The last month of the year
caught in a revolving door of haste,
packed-up briefcases, a bloodstream
of rush-hour traffic. Newspapers
sold out at the kiosks and replenished,
stacked with terrors: a hooded rapist
on the loose, this time
on the Upper West Side; a woman
held at knife-point in a stone-damp foyer;
the body of a missing coed
pulled from the river—something certain
to happen at any time of year, regardless.
A strange enigma of joy and desolation
twined like evergreen around the banister
of our lives: children stringing
freeze-dried fruit and popcorn into a chain.
Carolers made from paper-mâché
beneath an evergreen stunned by lights,
glass ornaments, tinsel, a silver star.
And yet too late perhaps to remember
the first suicide of the season: shutters
flung open, a woman's desperate sob
still clinging to the window sill,
catching a glimpse of the eternal
in that one brief moment of reprieve
when the mind is as oblivious
as the mannequin in the showcase window.
A diva dressed in bird seed and blue feathers,
holding a turtle dove in each hand.