THE LADY IN MAUVE
A blend of roses and coal-tar, I'm the Lady in Mauve.
Bittersweet as incense, solid as a church,
stubborn as fireweed rising from ashes. True, I love
to think I'm a nasty bitch
but my heart is a box of candy. The black boots
I wear under my crinoline are just a touch of noir;
like old-time country folk, I never lock the door
of that bird-cage with its maze of hoops
that keeps my ruffles stiff yet swirled
a distance from my body. I swing the door wide
open so a gentleman can reach inside,
release my captive desires. Still they make
their songs. Like everyone else I was born ten years too early,
ten years too late. In my next life I'll go naked.