Eventually, I knew. He’s married.
He massaged facts convincingly as if
Virility depended on falsehoods.
Becoming a cliché, committing sins,
Unselfed perspectives. Scarlet woman now,
Though raised to be a one-on-one type gal,
I pondered how forbidden fruit changed me,
How stolen kisses and sweet whisperings
Unpeeled the ingenue I was — — before.
My inborn core saw sanctity in vows
That never crumbled like stale wedding cake.
I’m skin’s dessert. He’ll do without to have
His mouth on me, an overripe replay,
Pretending he is working late again,
Adultery’s familiar script, fake words,
“I love you,” tossed around. Explicit terms
Might sound endearing, even meaningful.
Romantic, is it? Tarnished cutlery
Served spoiled treats, fool’s forever fantasies.
“Regard that worm inside!” the apple cries.
Encounter in Chiesa del Gesù
do not let us fall into temptation . . .
non lasciarci cadere in tentazione . . .
— — The Lord’s Prayer
— — — “So where do you undress on naked days?”
He scares me here, a quiet chapel, quaint,
While lighting candles. We’re alone, I see.
What seems a small, short figure beckons me,
Like secrets I have lived to face. My sight
Is playing tricks in fearful-looking light.
I’ve tingling prickles up my leg. He’s gained.
— — — “Italians worship death, approaching pain,
— — — Or violence. Count these crucifixes. Sick!”
He talks in cold-filled sounds. A candlestick
I thought unlit flares up a tempting red.
Fresh bruisable pink petals singe; not dead,
Maniacally, their center is consumed.
— — — “Where do you dress for dancing?” he resumes.
— — — “The bright objective music comes on late.
— — — Tangoes are prophecies.” He demonstrates,
And makes his thrust like lunging after me.
I lose my name, my bearings. Who is he?
There’s darkness dripping with the damp. He marks
His mark, hails emptiness, benighted shark.
But benediction rouses me. I arc
Away, state, “I don’t dance in your damned dark.”
LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a dramatist, writer, and formalist. Her poetry chapbooks Conflicted Excitement [Red Wolf Editions, 2018] and Concupiscent Consumption [Red Ferret Press, 2020] along with her collaborative book on prejudice [Macmillan in the USA, Aracne Editions in Italy] are her latest titles. Twitter: @Mae_Westside