In the barn loft inhaling emanations
Of the cows. Their gassy farts said to be curative.
She was desperate enough to attend. To listen hard
When Gurdjieff spoke
With an intensity that could freeze a flock
The way a sheepdog can, crouching and staring.
She wrote in her diary, implored and renounced
Her friends. Lawrence called her disgusting
Out of his own cowardice. She drank the hot milk
Starred with filth. Anything. Anything.
She was still young. The one voice
That made Virginia flinch.
When at last he’d come,
Possibly to save her, she clung
To his arm as they ascended the stairs
And the blood rose in her throat to spill
Like a cascade of liquid rubies,
Expensive gems, something she might
Have written once.