The waiter doubts me, a worn heap
retreating into simplicity and slight
self-abnegation. I prepare myself to fold
into the priestly realm of sleep.

Do I look like a stewardess tonight,
drinking my white wine and sipping
my French onion soup (in this bar, at this
time of night, overstating the feminine)?

But I am not twenty-five, not laughing
in a tangle of blondes, not hoping
for the pilots to join us, not waited on
by a slightly younger blonde,

bewildered with awe and disdain.
A deeper, more secure, apprehension surfaces.
I push its worldly shape to a distance,
allow it to linger, protect me from corruption.