So it says on the back of the ashtray.
On the front, a mysterious girl sits on an elephant.
She looks large or he small,
his fan-like ear brushing her knee.
Her long hair loosely braided,
she holds an elephant hook before her,
the way pharaohs hold an ankh.
The beast’s tusks are curved and short,
its trunk long, open at the end,
twisted back toward her. This elephant
has toes like a cat, and his back knees point
backward, unlike any elephant ever seen.
The girl’s feet are bare, her skin pale.
She wears a loose dress whose folds
drape his back, her face partly turned
toward me, her expression calculating.
Around the image, a hexagonal
decorative border, and outside that,
a gold rectangle, faded at the edges.
She’s stared at me for at least fifty years.