Hermaphroditus On The Town

And after hair bleached white as Antoinette’s
Was coiffed above black-ringed and ravenous eyes,
(Thick-fingered curler burns blotted with bleach and sweat)
And after lacquer coated nails in crimson,
(An artificial armor, donned in haste, still wet)
Those lips were made to pout incarnadine,
(So bright they overwhelmed the dress, those round cutlets)
Then sung in a falsetto trill a girl’s chanson,
And then went forth, this transformed silhouette,

To fold its mouth around a cigarette,
And pass as fairer for an evening,
And smile a smile not yet nineteen, laughing,
Accepting a cadet. The ballroom’s string quartet
Struck up a waltz for them. Poor boy! Within this storm,
This onslaught of a woman, he was caught,
Spellbound by that long and red-lipped form,
Both Victor and the vanquished, a duet
Sung with itself.

And then, sweet Bernadette
Waltzed off, escorted, to the night, caressing
Red-nailed hands that loosed her from her deathly lacings
With a stiletto freed her from her fleshy girl’s rosettes,
Her parts embraced by hands that never could transform,
Merely disguise.

And then near dawn, a yawn
Bloomed, frail rosette behind drenched fists, and passersby let
Loose a sigh, and said, “She’s spoken for, I bet,
But with her doll-like curls she is a statuette,
And what a lovely shade of silk she’s donned,
And how the blood within her lips is set.
My, what a lovely girl to look upon.”

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This entry was posted in Poems, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hermaphroditus On The Town

  1. Sarah says:

    Thanks! It still needs some work.
    If the third stanza seems kind of slapped in there… um, it was. But I kind of like the macabre turn it took. We’ll see which of the two versions wins out.

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