It seems that lately I keep thinking about you,
the way you toss your hair back, or smoke that big cigar.
Sometimes I don’t even know who you are,
sitting on that bench in blue.

The members of the cast who pass me on parade
are wearing cast-off odds and ends from your wardrobe floor.
My gaze often strays past the mirrored door
to where my best plans are laid.

The empress’ new clothes keep the empire in disguise,
while she keeps the hanged man hanging on her every word.
Is he the rough beast, or simply the blurred
beholder in beauty’s eyes?

Paint and powder, ball and gown, dressing night and day,
until the curtain fall upon this play.

May 13, 1997

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