The Waiting Room

A bedroom:

Loud ochre walls,

upon which shadows flicker violently with the dying embers

of a fire, and vanilla soy candles,

across the sharp planes of a woman’s unlined face:

sallow cheeks lightly dusted with rouge and

eyelashes heavily inked;

a subtle pout about her over-lined lips.

Glassy green eyes, that roam aimlessly and rest just above

a television crackling static noise that

clashes with the hum of the radiator near the bed;

the phone on the nightstand is silent.

The bed, draped in satin sheets and bear fur that still smells like

pine needles, ocean breeze, apple cinnamon,

all pure beeswax—

The warm ochre neutralized with the coming of twilight,

fades to black with the dusk

            of sun and fireplace;

            a hungry mosquito flies in from the open window, curtains blowing,

and crawls toward its prey.

The only things now illuminated in the darkness:

            curly auburn hair, six glasses emptied of red wine, a silent phone, two wedding rings:

            one on her finger, one on the nightstand.

The heat shuts off with a click, the TV screen goes black, outside

            tires cease to turn, passing voices fade into their own houses;

            only crickets fill her ears.

A sudden sigh, she snuffs the candles and kisses the pillow; curtains blowing, a sudden chill

as the mosquito inches forward once more, and stabs, sucks—

an audible gasp—belly full, it alights the windowsill, then exits

The waiting room.