I am far behind
A foregone conclusion
The last leaf of fall.
The way she spoke to me
Left fire between my thighs.
I wanted and loathed her
She knew my secrets
Broke my carefully honed portrait
With a whisper and a knowing smile.
I walk in flames with my head held high.
Traceries ride the pyroclastic bounce of my hips
on night winds..
For a moment as seen
against the fiery night sky
I am the beauty I was promised.
Girls smile at my shadow.
Boys back away.
The night gives me freedom to show my real face.
In the dark; on the street I am real.
I am not inside the cold glass box of your gaze.
Inside your eyes I burn-
burn Black and beautiful.
Bright and blinding.
Only so you will not see-
be blind to my fire.
And I remain unburnt.
SHANNON BARBER an author from Seattle Washington where she lives with her partner and a small collection of oddities. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Shotgun Honey, Gorgon Poetics and various other places. Find more about her work at www.shannon-writes.net