Once I Was a Planet

child bride in orbit trailing white. Before that
I lived a counterfeit life as a crossed-out wife
in the arms of a prolonged marriage.
Fire burned low. Rooms turned cold.
No fire to dance by. None to bake us bread.

Out my windows nights saw street lights
mimeographing murals
on the frozen spittle of other's tongues.
My skin couldn't breathe
my mind veered
feared becoming dinner for worms.

Picked up a kitchen knife and hurled it
at my mirror image. Hid face in hands and ran
leaving no one for the undertaker to bury.

Blessed the library lights for still being on
the words deep in their tenses.
My outburst surely an aberration, subject I searched
and researched until the pages grew tired of being thumbed.

Took to the stacks nights my room of choice.
Found solace in the ancient texts.

I used to be thick with pages
my tongue an avantgarde deaconess, stage struck teen
afflicted with a break-out of sweat on brow and upper lip.
The slithery silver dance of water when it washes away.

Here's a secret: sometimes I'm just a woman applying lipstick.
Sometimes a lipstick stain lost in the folds of a handkerchief
mimicking a mouth purging itself. Facilitator of air and toothpicks
face the wind slaps for no reason.

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