The Interview

Why did you leave your previous position?
I heard a rumor of blurring.
I heard you learned to refract the light

so it would not attack
so sharply.
You thought she would be grateful? She was

that you applied a poultice of lies.
A better balm than trust.

Listen here:
I won’t have a houseful of you
working the angles.

And what if the glass got all soft
like gauze, and I stepped through . . .

How do you like professional vanity?
So Ecclesiastical – you must get tired
of hearing that.

I get tired of dancing in red-hot boots.
Some days, I just fall off
a cliff into the yielding sea….

Beauty is no curse.
Beauty is a spell, a divine error, dividing
inside from out

and what is “good” and “true”
resides where?
But spells wear off and what’s worse

than the poison of nostalgia? Face and frame
reimbursed so cruelly by time.
Time emits a foul smell, if you ask me.

Who is to blame for my plight?
I like only the truths I like. Canaries in the mine
were not rewarded with fame.

I tightened her bodice.
Untangled her hair.
Fed her an apple.

One apple, one wish. One death, one prince.
Doesn’t that sound fair?
What can compare with a mother’s love?

Let me read to you a tale:
“The typical mirror is a sheet of glass
with a thin layer of molten aluminum or silver

sputtered on the back.”
The typical mother raises her daughter
to be as she imagines herself

and so my failure was one of imagination.
The literal suffer so.
Who looks at a mirror to see a mirror?

Adieu, for the beans are ripe.
Behave yourself: I could get a wise, bonny trout.
Or a doll, a knife, and a pumice stone.

Seven robbers and an oxcart.
A helpful eagle
and chambermaids.

Oh, wash me with water and wine
and fetter me in finery.
Forgiveness – that’s another story.