Love bade me welcome,
adopting a Black Power fist
with terrible conviction:
yet my soul drew back,
a study in trite ballerina glamour,
with fixed smiles and no sense
either of powerful wings or
fingertips that give off sparks,
guilty of dust and sin, trailing pieces
of cardboard and black drawstring bags.
But quick-eyed Love, in a blond wig,
with blue false eyelashes attached
to his lower lids, observing me
grow slack in rapid, jerky trajectories
from my first entrance in,
drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
if I lacked anything. Her staccato use
of her head and the mighty wing beats
of her arms gave weight
to the drama.
"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here":
Love said, "You shall morph into a jokey,
sinister figure with slinky, sexualized movements.."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee." The fur dress
she crawled into, which rattled as she moved
and pulled her off balance, was a marvelous prop.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I? Let’s try
not laughing for a change."
"Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
go where it doth deserve." Suggestions of real pain
remained safely hidden in the pop song sentimentality
and running mascara. And when the walnuts inside it
flew out, that was a fine bit of theatrical whimsy!
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
As always, his gawky elegance is entrancing —
giving way to wiggles that crinkles his arms
like a silken accordion.
The palm tree and giant swan,
also cardboard, are slowly wilting,
"My dear, then I will serve."
The only effrontery left
was the effrontery of dullness.
"You must sit down," says Love,
donning a mask with red beard
and multicolored afro ,"and taste my meat."
Then he went into a fervent lap dance
for a blow-up Prince Charming doll
tied to a seat in the front row.
I thought I heard the flapping wings
of the Owl of Minerva, or a
kittenish duet, all wrist flicks
and shoulder rolls. It was like boxing
with the divine.
"Let’s try not laughing for a change."
So I did sit and eat.