She has a pail of paint on one arm, turquoise,
to dim the pale, cavernous office
where she sits. In the dark
she rests her hands, content to wait
for the timbrel-calling of words,
as incense colors the air with sandalwood smoke.
Those drum-beats, rising within the sweet smoke,
are tied to the feel of textured turquoise.
One by one in succession they wait,
in the slopes and crannies of a tiny office:
Her skittering, plume-shaped words―
to be expressed or be left dark.
The ink from her pen goes suddenly dark,
burned from it as graphite smoke
in showers of meaningless words.
Curling against flat turquoise,
it loses its grand and vaulted office,
and is given an hour, a day, again, to wait
as she, in discontent, forgets to wait
for the lifting of the sun into dark.
A vampire gone mad, she bathes her office
(thick with sweat and smoke)
in a dripping patina of turquoise,
bumpy with sticky words.
At the end she'll be clotted with words,
and some will entice her with a glorious wait,
with offerings of gold on their turquoise
canvas―until unexpectedly it is dark.
Morning glazes the window in smoke;
a conclave begins within the isolated office.
Then she wishes she'd never had a secret office,
to paper and paint with raw, bleeding words
that burn in the sun to ash and smoke.
Then she wishes she'd never asked to wait
in silence, nor wanted the burnt-out dark
to remind her of when she last saw turquoise.
And while those dark walls, promising words,
curve to cover her in a smoke-spray of turquoise,
she'll wait to drown in that bitter, betraying office.