You who diligently tattoo
An exotic bird
On the scrawny chest of a young sailor,
It kept on snowing all evening;
While you labored over the colorful plumage,
Of the proud and ornate bird,
And the beardless one sat shivering, naked to the waist,
In a world theatrically veiled and hushed;
On the night of the great blizzard,
With only the two of you in that parlor
Huddled by the lamp, as if confiding.
And now the mirror being tilted
For a view of its spread wings,
The wide-open beak.