She knows her place: in the acknowledgements,
On the back page. Or, more cryptically,
The dedication, measured to make sense
To her alone, addressed elliptically.
He sees her shadow lean against the wall
And pins it there, so he can better note
These lines: a curling finger and the small
Curve of her back, the neat edge of her throat.
She knows her job: to smile and lightly touch
With fingertips, to break up into neat
Straight lines, and not to hang around too much.
He is her one great work, almost complete.
She lets him trace those lines a while more,
Then leaves the house, and softly shuts the door.