The Woman With Jewels

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.

This Poem Features In: