Before She Put Me on Her Blacklist

She had a tooth made of paper, she said–
she could not afford to be lavish. The tooth,
I know, was ochre, dun, or ivory. She said
she had it dyed to match the others,
a bright white tooth among dull neighbors
would be gaudy (a word she used often,
usually to describe me, my velvet coat).
On the flat of her hand, she balanced
a ring; it bounced on a blood vessel as
she breathed in dusty air, breathed out
whatever fire still remained in her,
whatever fire she had left.

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4 thoughts on “Before She Put Me on Her Blacklist

  1. Gosh, I love this one. Just when I think I’m getting my balance on one of the images, it slides off into something different, and I’m scrambling to get my footing once again. Just the right mix of stability and surprise in a poem–and such evocative images.

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