Evie Shockley

there’s nothing new in the metaphor of night

                              as beauty, until she squats over your head

           like a woman intent on pleasing herself upon

                                        the evidence of your unbidden (forbidden)

desire. let her have control — or better, just try

                                 to resist her. her stars are fixed and shooting.

          not shot, but restless, flickering, ambivalent,

                                        is-ing and ain’t-ing like black do. (you know

we do.) a new do don’t always make change,

                              but it can put a shine on pain. shame, the way

          we let go of memories drawn to dawn’s magnet

                                         like nails to a scab. ritual wounding as alluring

as any tattoo. brake before breaking through

                              the ice between an air of appreciation and lung-

          fuls of blue. splashdance — ambiguous. are you

                                        wet or not? whet or what? not one whit? stoned

sharp, edgy, a shadow in moonlight on snow.

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