My Generous Audience

She, the friendly thief who creatively stole
what I artlessly thought was all mine

She, the thief whose two hands were shamelessly rough
with competition and strong with greed,

beautified by the harsh red of henna
and the hoax of solicitousness,

grabbing at my finite paraphernalia.

She, the thief, demands--  anguished for my destitution

I give clemency.

He, the long-fingered beast I turned the knob for
misjudging through the peephole,

granting entry to my home

He, who grabbed my miscalculating ankles from underneath
my bed, as if reeling an award-winning fish,

triumphantly bellowed,

“I’ve got it!”

While I wrinkled in his grip, suffocated on deck

He, the monster whose shadow disappeared and reappeared in my closet

snaring my child-like attention as he selfishly drank himself
to a satisfying finish
colonizing my mirrors, possessing the drapes
that brush up against my skin.

He, the beast, breathes-- aching for my discourtesy

I give honor.

Them, the high-pitched subtly stabbing
open-mouthed, sharply-teethed poison-tongues that dripped

with honey-like venom.
Them, who played me, their marionette,
yanked by the rancor unraveled string around my throat
alternating between pearls and gems and fibre rope

My legs jerked to cater, my arms thrown up to serve
eager for the success of others

Them, who watched with hungry eyes that drained
as I swung back and forth for all to see what was left of the captivating play.

Them, the puppeteers, choke out-- pining for my inhibition

I give confidence.

I, the desperate who, with white-knuckles and blue lip
grasped the marble edges of beckoning, persuasive, coquettish death

facing the white ceiling I mistook for  

God’s light or one of the wings on the angel’s shoulder
at the eleventh-hour, the fifty-ninth station

and with a cry of do-or-die pulled myself out of this
benign ruination, halved but whole

I, the desperate who uncurled the quivering fingers of sweet oblivion
from my blotted, blemished, sheeted and transparent soul

I, the desperate, scream--reaching for my vanity

I give love.

I give.



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