A fragrance heavy as dust; and two young women
motionless as mannequins, dressed in black.
The white moth of timelessness flutters about them,
unable to leave the cool light of their faces.
One holds the other’s head in her hands
like a mirror. The other leans into the long fingers.
knowing how heavy her beauty is. Eye to eye,
breath to breath, they lean as if frozen forever:
a white cup with two lithe figures painted in black
and the warm wine brimming.
Ted Kooser, American Poet Laureate, from the collection: Delights and Shadows
Born April 25, 1939, in Ames, Iowa. Attended Ames Public Schools, Iowa State University (B.S. 1962), and the University of Nebraska (M.A. 1968). Worked for many years as a life insurance executive; now retired and teaching half time at The University of Nebraska.