The Woman With Jewels

A poem by Lola Ridge

The woman with jewels sits in the cafe,
Spraying light like a fountain.
Diamonds glitter on her bulbous fingers
And on her arms, great as thighs,
Diamonds gush from her ear-lobes over the goitrous throat.
She is obesely beautiful.
Her eyes are full of bleared lights,
Like little pools of tar, spilled by a sailor in mad haste for shore...
And her mouth is scarlet and full - only a little crumpled - like a flower that has been pressed apart...

Why does she come alone to this obscure basement -
She who should have a litter and hand-maidens to support her on either side?

She ascends the stairway, and the waiters turn to look at her, spilling the soup.
The black satin dress is a little lifted, showing the dropsical legs in their silken fleshings...
The mountainous breasts tremble...
There is an agitation in her gems,
That quiver incessantly, emitting trillions of fiery rays...
She erupts explosive breaths...
Every step is an adventure
From this...
The serpent's tooth
Saved Cleopatra.

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