Two Tuesdays ago,
Eloise Cowles succumbed to a gas leak undetected
in the shoddy studio she alone rented,
not the tony townhouse
her fellow village library clerks claimed
she owned with dependable husband Jerry,
now revealed to be non-existent.
In place of the predictably prosaic
and terminally Minnesotan Methodist
who looked a score older than her forty-three years
thanks to diffuse pallid puddles of adipose tissue
and mannerisms and modes
pilfered from the fifties,
death has upgraded Eloise to a zesty mystery
whose paltry possessions included
six gangsta rap CDs,
a valid Paraguayan passport,
overused volumes of Teach Yourself Yoruba and Truly Tasteless Jokes
and her seventeen steamy sonnets praising
a pole dancer named Gerri.