"Miss Huberman is first, last, and always not a lady.
She may be risking her life, but when it comes to
being a lady, she doesn't hold a candle to your
wife, sitting in Washington, playing bridge with
three other ladies of great honor and virtue."
We sensed it was dangerous to get in
to bed together; we kept our clothes on.
But power rose anyway—his first—so
it was plain to all I belonged to him.
I was of tyranny’s camp, carried its
smell so not to be trusted. How long till
skunk scent wears off? How long must
I drink in the poison to be useful?
Can you smell innocence and passion as
well as evil? Can you smell the perfume
of sacrifice despite the bed clothes and
dirty sheets I have wrapped around myself?
Deep in the enemy’s stronghold, I am
seduced by seduction and moves more cat-
like than rodent, more slick and musical
than duets require, stripe hidden inside.
I will die in service to my country;
if no one comes to my rescue, I die.
Married to him, I die. Drinking my tea
with spoons of arsenic sugar, I die.
Hear me through my silence and inaction;
Hear me through my absence, your detection.
Hear me through his skunk spray and distraction.
Though notorious, I will wait for you.
Inspired by Grace's Sunday's Mini-challenge: Carilda Olivar Labra at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, though not a role that the great poet would play. Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #239.
Copyright © 2015 S.L.Chast