In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Small Favors

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Small favors, thank goodness for them, like finding a dollar on the sidewalk

or pulling up just in time to nab the last parking spot.

Still underpaid and broke, struggling, the dollar shines like a 

ribboned gift nevertheless.

And yes, a spot probably opens up for those who wait, 

but all drivers treasure time.

Larger small favors look like winning the raffle at the company picnic

or an impromptu sparkling conversation out of the blue while 

perusing the nonfiction aisle at the bookstore.

Unsuspecting, like those bracelets.

My beloved’s gift, the one I wore til it broke as I shed the last

shred of clothing, naked before a lover’s gaze,

my panties catching its piney speckled beads

and shattering its thin knotty hold on my ankle.

The wood bead’s dull clink on the ceramic tile motel floor. 

While the other, a punishing thick relentless reminder, black 

plastic prisoner’s promised ring, cut into pieces, stabbed in shouting outness,

that one that wrongfully shrunk skin and tamped tibial boxes, receding like

the mote of my motivation, and then gone, freed–but only fake freedom.

I cut it at its malignant root, vengefully scissoring its mad fastening.

And the final ring to replace the broken ones, a gift, simple plastic beaded 

black, silver and white, sweet, puerile and true to salve the wound

and psyched out phantom circle chain.

A charm, a trinket, a child’s delight, and one small favor thoughtful and big–

infinite to me. 

 

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