Young lovers, the latest sky turned on,
Achingly, its sharp lights as, window-shopping,
Emily and I, by mannequins stared down,
Wondered why, enthralled, we were stopping
To view the department store, and therein, our reflection.
Could dummies, angelic, lead us into temptation?
These angels grinned at closing and eternally,
Sniffing, beatifically, roses,
Plastic, in their fists, or silken ivy.
And Emily adored their twisted, perfected poses,
Because they froze, impassible;
We, neither, guessed it would be impossible
For them to deliver us their good news.
But when the store turned gold lights off, its presents
Ascended into the safe, obtuse
Black velvet firmament
Where angels exchanged gifts in divine
Amnesia not induced by any anodyne.
And Emily exclaimed, "Let's make like angels,
Let's pretend that somebody turned out the big lights."
Young lovers, the stars above, painful,
Dilated our pupils in spite.
We couldn't burglarize the empyrean, join mannequins,
So we moved, feelingly, on through our chill and our sins.
This poem originally appeared in Timbuktu