We sat at his wooden table,
He and I, reading by milk light.
The words were from an unknown language
But his pronunciation was perfect.

It may have been the story of a girl
With miraculous skin—white as milk—
And her darker, jealous sister. A cat
Figured somehow, licking away the girl.

He closed the book with a knock
Like a briar pipe against a wooden tray.
He dunked a cookie in milk, putting out
The light and said, “Time for bed.”