S. steps up to the
taps it like a cymbal.
Bigshot. Champ-girl. Leading lady.
The crowd, hands on laps,
ears fully lake-like, lets words
swish and foam.
The performer must know
her audience and study them,
their curls, their teeth, their chins.
No gesture is dismissible.
S. thinks to quote the bible
start with what they know
- floods - sacrifice - sibling rivalry -
then takes a step back.
To reclaim the burning refusal
(not her bible)
in an echoing hum, she musters:
hello, I will tell you the story
of how you became a map
positioned quite narrowly
between thumb and pen.
The world feels even more verifiable
now that every lid on every eye is open.
No one else would say it.
S. feels this as a tingling sensation
rising from her wrist, up her arm, to her waist.
A sore pair of eyes has a history of dust,
galling dirt, a piece of sticky lash—these
are forgettable, until you reach in
for the object you most require
and get stuck in a squinting stupor.