Two Women on Sunday

Across the alley, on the back porch,
you sit, Sunday rollers still in hair,
in positions that depict mannequins
or rosary beads being held at the altar.

There is a morning breeze praying
over the wind chimes, carrying the cloaks
of September behind it.
A magpie clanks its black bell
in “Hail Marys” and shits on the sky.

It is Sunday, and surely there is coffee
brewing somewhere in the background.
Your sons’ hangovers are still purring
as pearls within their sleeping heads.

Perhaps you are playing checkers,
elbows resting on formica.
Perhaps you still are dealing dreams,
the checkered deck of factory labor.
But I see you leaning back
inhaling the first cigarette of the day

the act of true masters

the smoke swirling inward,
incantations
and dread.