Affairs

Of the heart. Put in order,
pending the vestment of death.
Curious, too, when the sleuth
sniffs out his evidence,
plugging a pipe with his thumb.

Sometimes a party,
rarely impromptu but of a size
which muffles introduction:
everyone nameless, glitz
and the crystal of slippers.

Private scandals, my own.
Flings. Hotels. The deference
of carpets, of beds prepared
like laundered alibis.

Suspect and witness -
here they merge: because, you see,
yourself. A shrug of drapes
in the mirror you do not own,
in the body you never possess.

The statesman speaks from notes;
gumshoes ponder expenses;
a duchess is nothing but necklace;
bedsprings oblige. The hours
vanish like musical chairs.
It's a terrible state of affairs.

From Looks Familiar