I shall give his offer serious consideration.
At night I sit at my desk
illuminated by a pool of brightness
from a special lamp that emulates daylight,
near a sketchbook covered with seashells
honeycombed by sea worms,
a Spanish word-a-day calendar
that says vaca echada is a lazy cow,
a book that says Aphrodite exists
only for the mating of male and female
and a leatherbound Hans Brinker,
that Dutch tale
that sprang from the mind of a New York woman.
But I ponder that woman who stole black silk lace.
She was sent to Australia on the first convict ship.
I wonder how she might have looked
draped in the lace, black against her silken skin
more than seventy years
before Hans thought about silver skates
or a father that needs brain surgery
in an era of Civil War medicine.
I consider this offer from your master
which rattles the dry bones
of evil made natural
as bees make honey.
I see the woman’s form
pressed bare against black lace.
She takes slow steps
about my desk
into light then to dark
to seek truth beyond the real.
Whatever be my choice,
the dust settles,
and consequence overtakes all.