Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Charming Snakes

You will see him at parties, occasionally.
He will be standing in the middle of a crowd,
Men and women,
Friends and family,
Strangers and lovers,
For a sliver of his wit.
You will notice that he makes them each feel special,
A casual one-liner
And a room-brightening smile
Bestowed like rain on each admirer,
One at a time.
You will not watch him closely
Because you will be mesmerized, as well,
Lured in by the shiny story-telling
And the speed of his attentions.
He is a snake charmer,
And you are charmed by his song.

But if you were really watching,
If you were watching closely,
You would see him alone.
Surrounded by colleagues and coquettes,
He is always alone.
He keeps himself locked tight.
Nothing slips,
No hint of fear,
No slice of doubt,
No hesitation.
This constant planning exhausts him,
But it is necessary.
How else will he manage the costs of desire?
He ties up the ends of his hunger
With a recipe for cool detachment and passionate retorts…
He cannot allow you to think that he is not
to you.

You will see him at parties, occasionally.
Flirting with the quiet girls
(He will quietly leave with one),
Smiling at the jokes of the obvious and the awkward
(And he will make them subtle, if only for a moment).
He is benevolent and isolated,
A lonely, lusty king of a lonely, lusty island.
He has decided it will be that way
Because the pleasure of momentary release far outweighs
The pain of all that time served,
Waiting at the feet of love
For dust.

No comments: