Sharlie West

when all the whirlies and twirlies
are closed and fog
creeps along
the streets and slides
around the drunk on the bench.
It is winter
and the cold sun faces into gray.
At that time
before the bars are open,
before the one restaurant lets its greasy smell
enchant the stragglers,
a door opens
just for a minute
        and everything is bathed
in a silver mist
that shines each object into new
and the drunk on the bench
stirs and catches
the silver.
A white frame house is outlined
by my restaurant window.
Carved doorknobs, shutters tense.
Across the street strides a russet-haired girl,
long black tunic, an insouciant hat.
I imagine her years later, forehead creased,
pulling the hands of her children.
A man in a felt hat smiles into my window.
My finger traces his edge on the glass.
As I leave, the green leather chair
holds my print.
More of me leaks every day
into dust on the mirror ledge,
a tabby chasing down sewers,
woodfire smoke.
I look for a room to collect the prints,
an empty room with round corners,
amber lights,
dark mahogany walls,
a weighted urn.

Sharlie West

Sharlie West has attended the writing programs at George Washington University, Clarion University, and at The Writer's Center in Bethesda,  MD,  where she studied with Rod Jellema and Rose Solari.  Her poems have appeared in Gargoyle, The Baltimore Review, Wordwrights!, Bogg, California Quarterly, Minimus, Pacific Coast Journal, and many others.  Online publications include 100 Poets Against the War and Times New Roman (Nth Position). Chapbooks include House of Bones, Sea Born, Bayou Moon and On the Avenue (Shadows Ink Publications).  She has also published short stories and a novel, Maybe Tomorrow (Dorchester Press).



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Paul Kareem Tayyar

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Sharlie West

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