A Glorious Twilight


Susan is painting her nails
such a brilliant shade of bright
she seems to have sprouted 22 fingers

Don't need open-toed shoes, those toes
would gleam through blind galoshes
like designer Northern Lights

Be careful, I said, waving your phalanges about!
You're gonna burn the house down

And then the house began to bulge
With the light of fingernails
And lifted through the air
Through clouds where it snows and hails
And came to rest beside
The pale-by-comparison moon
And glowed on the earnest astronomer
Like a Passion Fire doubloon


Fred Chappell, Spring Garden: New and Selected Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 1995.