As she enters, it all but caresses her, the oval mirror, the luminous, tightly drawn curtains, and her shadow, an anonymous lady-in-waiting who brushes the snow from her heartshaped fur collar.

    Unbuttoning her wrap... it is her alerted breasts we think of, the french phrase for “tender buttons.” Her unstudied gestures. . .preoccupied, she fidgets leisurely with the crease in her tailored sleeve. She has probably never even glanced at that high, ornate ceiling. . . her shadows magnified there, and as she pours a sherry, their waves of reversals.