Soft like pink pillows,
sweet like white lilies,
just as gentle as her name suggests.
The beast of beauty and bounty and cruelty,
an infant, a serpent, a golden-eyed temptress.
As wanting as the desert she dances on,
if she were a place, she would have bought it.
An island of fossilized footprints and empty mines,
concrete blocks, diamond rings, and rubber soles.
Where fools tangle their fingers
in the lace frills of her dress.
There’s no space left for tenderness.
She is coffee with no sugar,
Song with no smile, and
The envy of flightless birds.
In the dimly lit kitchens, stone floors and steam
Where cold rice is left over old stove tops,
Caked in cognac sweat and black crust.
Where thin-skinned cattle wander,
Where spilled water is worthy of tears.
Her Sundays are of drumbeats, like a child She
Skips down that one street
That mirrors all the others behind her.
She is harsh like an artist
Who creates her own fantasies, by
Painting her lilacs red in the winter. But their
Crisp pale petals are still seared by decades of drought.

Traffic screams through her arteries
And yet her heart is lost – long since cut from her chest.
Her hungry children suck her empty tits
While she gorges on the runts of her litter.
She stirs and stirs over a stubborn flame,
Humming to herself, and keeps it that way.