they in that eternal room

by Jerry Ratch


And while they sat and while we danced for them, they in that eternal room of theirs, illumined by late sunlight, or moonlight, (or the lamp in your bedroom,) our skin moistened with oils, glistening…  


each of us shining as we turned, emitting little rivers of light. And while we sweated and while we worked, our perfumed odors rose in the heavy air, while the kingdoms changed hands and we danced. (While the kingdoms changed hands and we danced.)


And I went on singing, “Pharaoh … Pharaoh,” while you entered your new queen. And I swam in the river behind you with a new man, but your name was on my lips just the same. And I would have called you anything, if I could. If you had let me. I would have come down from the ceiling where I floated, for you, like a little rain of pure salt.