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Seven Beauties

by Anna Ruiz

they are such terrible beauties

eventually the grease paint wears thin, even the fairest
one of all
is but a naked face in the Time
of Locusts; the Nile is running red this year
your firstborn thought has already died
though she bears a living olive branch
in the Garden of Gethsemane

when the sun is
shining and the dew is calling
all rainbow serpents to the shores of Ireland

envy is a hard-hearted Lover
when the dark cloak of vanity prevails,
persistent consumptions swallowed like
heavy stones that were never tied to
your Mother

it steals from your brothers
and you remember your anger turning into
the wrath of God

killing your sister, Abel

(she was no he)

and so you wrap your Neanderthal arms in sheepskin
to fool your blind father
steal the inheritance
that has always been rightly yours
waiting with a vulture’s patience
in the Banquet Hall of the Prodigal’s
Return, (a feast at the end of your lost labour)
emaciated with a truncated prima facie

your pride is gluttonous and your greed is endless,
you are lazy with infinity, dizzy with the bewitchment
of a thousand sordid lies
unbroken and spellbound

in the Hall of Splintered Mirrors
death blows ten thousand lightning rods — steel-tipped

you sleep, do not notice

your heart is lusting under your sleeve and you never read poetry

your eyes are sealed shut
until the seventh scroll is found

floating on the surface of your own cesspool of contemplation

Copyright © 2010 by Anna Ruiz

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