Hibiscus

I'm chandelier earrings up for rent by the hour in dark alleys with betel stains, a child-woman waiting for her customer. I'm a thick bush of petals for your daily worship.

I’m chandelier earrings up for rent by the hour in dark alleys with betel stains, a child-woman waiting for her customer. I’m a thick bush of petals for your daily worship.

I wear a Peter Pan hat and a red gown

that slowly unfurls. 

Tiny vermillion dots tail me,

bringing bell metal and incense in their wake.

You sew me up when 

I’m still a kid, say it’s a garland pure for gods —

I writhe in shock, then numbing pain…

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I quench your thirst

with blood, my tart blood.

I’m your shoeshine girl…

for centuries, clearing out the muck beneath your feet.

Pity your conscience doesn’t 

shine enough.

I’m chandelier earrings up for rent

by the hour in dark alleys with betel stains,

a child-woman waiting 

for her customer.

I’m a thick bush of petals 

for your daily worship.

I’m also a warship, slashed and burned

and cigarette-butted into submission —

I’m a chameleon, really.

But most of all, I am raw flesh,

a naked goddess, 

throbbing with all the gore 

I have drunk, slick with the 

sweat of justice.

They call me a chilli 

sometimes, when the heat 

bothers them too much.

Image source: IanZa on pixabay

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