Navy Parlor       

Ink-dark, like a glower where it doesn’t belong.
Or the thundercloud’s hidden part 
We swear we’ve seen 
Just to be the smart kid.
There’s always a trick question in such a room.

It might be crystal decanters to deepen the walls.
It might be talk to the last flicker, a mirror
Spreading the ceiling whole story.
To tell you the truth–saturation of night sky. 
Stars that caved in on themselves, their glint 

Enduring as sea-trenched monsters–as to 
Why a man carries a half-dead town on his back, 
Why a woman waits for her father’s smoke ring
To sparkle with trust. And if other, fill in the blank 
So bedecked, we’d never think shack or 

Hidy-hole of a fish from your earliest nightmares.
Did the chandelier fall for false light, 
Lose some of its drops to a needled gape?
There are amulets humming with nerve
To hang in their place. In such a room, black pulls blue

A) Into an argument 

B) Too far down to ever really know

C) Onto the sofa–a lot of brocade 
     For a man from the frayed edge 
     Of a half-dead town who says, One day,
     You’ll take that smoke ring off your finger


L. A. Weeks lives and writes near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in journals such as The Southern Review, Green Mountains Review Online, and Colorado Review. Her poems also appear in The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. IX: Virginia.