She hovered in our peripheral vision
at the edge of a blade scraped across the mirror.
Bewitching us, Come with me, she whispered,
we’ll discover one another.
Conquer the drudgery of the day.
Her signature scent filled our warm nostrils
with its diabolical fragrance of duplicity.
Hypnotized by cognac and crystal castanets,
we stumbled over the remnants of willpower:
like lambs, we went meekly to the abattoir
when she crooked her staff,
pulled on the long, ether-washed nights
around our silhouettes.
Our lips wet with almond liqueur, moved -
moved, then fell silent, hushed by censure
because leopards cannot change their spots.
But when you were drawn through the black needle
of no return, I stopped powdering my nose,
eschewed the golden cage, rejoined the jungle.
and admitted to being a tiger.