Outliving Ambition

Finalist for the 2014 Walrus Poetry Prize Through the foyer of The Carlyle, playing dress-up in my knockoff goddess garments, open as a mother, as the gala fills with gods …

Finalist for the 2014 Walrus Poetry Prize

Through the foyer of The Carlyle, playing dress-up
in my knockoff goddess garments, open as a mother,
as the gala fills with gods and CEOs.

The squid, they say, tastes biblical, the flood to be exact.
Reminders we’re survivors, chewing on our Hokusai fancies.
I could fill this wing with what I’ve been inclined to hide

inside me: kraken, sure, and corked champagne, bronze
erections of the fabled brave. The entrée is a siren summoned
from her odyssey with nets and sous’-knives, served with a berry

soup of mid-day blue. I am uncomfortable with beauty.
What we kill we eat, and what we spare becomes our savior;
there is no master where there is no slave. I said we; let’s leave

that be, as I’m a forgery so skillfully constructed it outdoes
the real thing. I mean just watch me strip off this humanity;
the newest virgin in a harem, hell bent on a takedown.

Robin Richardson

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