I am not a phoenix forged from fire,
nor a shape shifter.
Taking life from cigarette ash,
I weigh next to nothing.
Like Dido who flung herself into the pyre,
I mean well, but flip the switch
and I am in this story, my own little aquarium.
First, the fallen arches. Then the broken floor.
Finally, a bathtub filled with unanswered prayers.
My fiery bed floats in the Mediterranean,
negotiates waves off the coast of Tunisia.
The vanity of a woman setting her own hair on fire.
I burn double-fast, smoke myself to death.
The bed now sits on flames of water,
in between Carthage and something deeply blushing.
I have been harangued and hung by men who have left me,
a learned girl,
a queen of costumes that don’t fit.
A sad smell enters,
and I tell a lie to strike a deal.