Collage by Romare Bearden
She’s got them all teetering on
the tips of her fingers, tiny as mice.
One flip of the wrist and all the men,
who ever tasted her; then turned
their faces away, and all the men,
who drove them to ruination,
go flying to who knows
where, and who cares?
She holds them up in yellow
curtain light, watches them shift
their weight to keep from falling.
Each one of them knows what he’s
done or not done. It’s chilling them
to the bone to see she’s wearing her
haint blue dress. No more feathers,
no Adam and Eve root. That’s how
very much danger they’re in.
Outside, her bottle tree glistens,
as she squeezes them for good measure,
rolls them between her palms, before
laying them out like sardines
in the bottom of her reddest meanest box.