Cherub Street- A Poem

Cherub Street

They say if you go on a
Full lit night down to
Cherub street,
Past the sundown
There is a woman with
Rotted pettycoats
And arms so thin the
Veins are bulging worms, who
Carries a bell jar she uses
To trap moonlight. They say
If you ask her how
It tastes she will tell you
With shining eyes:
“like the mountain’s breath
and the rose’s milk,” and
she’ll fill herself
a glass of the paleness
from the gutter-ponds
and drink herself
To sleep. They say she lived
In silk houses once, before
sleeping on cobblestones.
But moonlight, you know, is
Only for the desperate
And the alone. So they say
If you offer her coin or hearth
She will not take it because
Then she could not drink
Moonlight any more. They say
You should be careful
Not to be seen with her, or else
You may be thought of as lonely
and desperate too, so they will
Not give you coin or hearth
Because they will say you
Would prefer to drink
Moonlight instead. It makes
One wonder what the world
Would be like if anyone
Could drink some silver and
Not be called sorrowed. I would
Say we should all try it, but
I have no stomach for living
Under bridges and in puddles.
So they will say what they
will say and I will not stop them,
But perhaps I go down
to Cherub Street
And try to offer that jar woman
Some hearth and
Some coin to see what
she will say for a change.

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