Main T.o.C. Door #1 Door #2 Door #3 Contest Gallery
Judith Skillman

The half moon
between winter-black
tree trunks,
an ivory lamp
in Paris
where women dress
in wet linen
on cold nights,
scanty rations
for afternoons
gone dark early.
An abundance
of sirens, those
who ensnared
sailors equal only
to the rampant
crime of Friday
evening. How close
to frugal can
we come—what
give up without
a cup of sugar
to sweeten the deal?
The mercy comes
in time, thin,
lean, scarce—hardly
for the way
the moon, our
only source-light,
enters before
dusk, lingers
like a gull
above the horizon
at dawn.