The Performance

by The Juicer

They caught the twisted white ribbon stealing through her lips, while
she spelled the words slowly pressed
against the smoke in her lungs.
Lips that parted only to effuse –
never to intake sharp breaths or mouthfuls of drink. And while
she rested her pointy elbows at an angle I knew and dangled her atrophied legs
over the wooden stool, she confessed.
– That it was too hard to reach the ground, or make amends, when
Time aggregated itself; tricking her,
to look over those nebulous shoulders I so loved. And so I laughed, never really said
what I felt; although I should have exclaimed,
she was not there! Secretly away, diffusing one or the other, timed maze or mine.
Those that had been, mysteriously planted, she said.
With batted eyes I admired the bravado,
Each glimpse thinly obscured by their soggy and watchful haze.
No more, I never said, that I too, had known, how they watched her pontificate,
Shameful eagerness gone stale
in dark swirling rooms, dungeons of today; tied together in knots and bows
and packaged neatly in her lap –
Not to be unwrapped except when wings in my dreams, words caught
in flight, lumps of sugar and wine, drowned, lulled to sleep.
Long past an ago, so it went, unbending time,
Nights awaited, under the lights.