Last night from outside I watched Alison
fog her ceiling. I stood by a street light
and watched Alison lean out a window
and scoop cupfuls of fog from the damp night.
Then she spooned out the fog into the air
of her apartment. The fog drifted up.
Standing on an ornamental footstool
Alison reached upward and smoothed the fog
with hush and kindness and thoughts of design.
Then she buffed it with a ragged tee shirt
until it shone like imitation pearls
from Woolworth’s. I watched her work for an hour
then I went home and to bed by myself.
Walking for the morning paper, I glanced
in Alison’s window. She was sleeping
on a couch, still wearing her overalls.
Overhead, her ceiling glowed, shimmering
like rice paper through frosted glass. Sleeping,
Alison dreamed. Her dreams drifted upward
glowing, shimmering, too, by her ceiling
like jade statues from a magical past
or like barrettes in a young girl’s long hair.