Triptych in Noir

her jailed lover’s image in the mirror
slowly loses color
like tea poured again & again
from the same leaves
or a cloud of cigarette smoke mixing with the air

* * *

beneath the mirror’s mercury lies
the captain lost at sea in some
interminable corrido
his waterproof watch still ticks inside his slicker

* * *

it’s past 3:00
light from the streetlamp
filters through the slats of the blind
outshines the moon:

two sets of stripes that cross at
an oblique angle on the walls & the bed
where she lies staring into the one dark corner