Pretty young men around her bedroom door
passing her wine as boys did long before
but now she only drank it to numb pain
in her left thigh, right knee. They said nice things
said she was lovely still. She knew they lied
and did not mind. Once they had left, she sighed,
scrubbed off her paint and put away her rings.
She could not give them what they wanted – he'd
left her so many years ago. They'd said
harsh words; next thing she heard was, he was dead.
His work had never been stuff she would read
for pleasure. So she gives them smiles, nods, winks,
the blank mysterious silence of the Sphinx