In Bronxville

by Kimberly Nunes

In Bronxville

An honest moment happens
twice in five minutes, whine
of two sirens, flashes sweep
then disappear through a window—
paint the black mouth
of the fireplace red, then dark again.
Crimson drapes flank the balcony.
Near the alcove an empty chaise
waits like a lover
as the house comes alive
with emergency, another’s pain.
I am only the visitor.

I decide, the ottoman
will be mine—small pet
covered in Moroccan wool,
I approach it to sit. I want to say
to the young woman nearby,
someday you will perfume yourself
for a man. He will lead you
down a narrow street,
not quite an alley. Someday,
you will read a salacious book
and consider every man
for pleasure, pick the flesh of his heart,
how we steam and bone a fish.

My host says, femme fatale, I say,
back in the city all the tree
branches are encased in ice.
What God delivers to everyone
snaps at the lightest touch.
We crunch through snow to dinner.
At the intersection three plows puff
under street lamps like bulls facing off.
The drivers are not there.

Mother by Michael Mau