The Masked Ball


My sister chose to dress me as a tropical insect,
hiding my brown and crinkled skin
with scarlet dust and diamante, soft mascara eyes.

They were all exchanging briefcases,
all dressed in mafia darks,
the ballroom furious with hard black cuts

and I was kohl, smoke, frightened blue
until I saw the burglar girl, wearing a balaclava
and while I couldn’t kiss her through the wool
I uncovered her, found her face painted with keyloids
ravaged, sharp and beautiful,
loved to death with bites of savage butterflies.

In the House of Disguises Hawk Watch at Pranker’s Pond