The pretty girls float by
Like mythical creatures
Wrapped in swirling fabrics.
They finish the picture with a pearl earring
And crown themselves in the affections of others
Who gather to gaze at the spectacle
Behind the glass.
To all but the elderly curator
Who, in the loneliness of after hours
Removes their clothing
(piece by piece)
Hoping to glimpse flesh
One more time before he sinks into an uneventful sleep.
To gaze upon what we will never possess
To imagine breath which will never raise the breast
By his side
To understand what it is
To dream for pleasure, instead of escape.