cubicle diptych

cubicle woman
The moments slither by if you forget they’re there. Sucking in sweetness, hot sugared coffee, aroma of memory.
It might be a sluggish, clammy descent of summer afternoon. Hints of autumn like blackberry spicing the air.
The people here are decent. They smile to make conversation a pleasant bit of business.
They want me to feel safe, subdued. It doesn’t matter that we are never more than strangers,
passing faces, complaisant. They bring me coffee with sugar and plastic sticks for stirring.
In this moment all of the world turns so skillfully I move along without pause for acknowledgement,
stealthily aware.
Cubicle Woman and me
The minutes move slowly, floating
through non-uniform atmospheric fluctuations.
Here is solid, always, interminable.
A small, dark woman,
waiflike were she not so clearly lined
from age or weathering.
Her movements almost frail,
yet surely intentioned.
Motion as one in a dream
where objects may so easily
Not like this solid place, this
monastery of healing.
All in gradations of white;
air almost frigidly white
welcome in the fever.
White walls, clarified space
take well to imagery.
Vivid primitive paintings
cadmium yellow, vermillion, cobalt blue
flash, mutating here to there.
We are in an old, classic movie
of danger and romance.
Unaware of my surveillance,
silently, without smile or frown,
she stirs sugar from bright white packets
into her curl of steam
hearth and home.

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