At the top of the back staircase in the east wing of my mind, there is a secret attic where I keep a pretty girl. She lives among the furniture that doesn't fit elsewhere, the rusting wrought iron daybed and the mahogany commode, the elephant's foot umbrella stand and the spavined rocking horse.
I pop up there from time to time to tease the ribbons from her hair, to lie her down on the candlewick covers of her musty single bed. She is the paper ghosts of peonies, a scentless potpourri. We share moth wine and macaroons and kiss like kittens beneath a dusty bust of me. When I am gone she sleeps again, barely breathing on a drift of shredded lace.