La Vie En Rouge

All I’ve done all my life is disobey.

— Edith Piaf

Even the dripping 
of the bathroom faucet
is in mourning
as it slowly fills
with its sobs
the worn-out tub
whose silver pipe
and iron paws 
are rusting.

The square-tiled floor
rough on my toes
and indifferently cold
to my feet
is losing the softness
of its ivory
and yielding 
to the stubbornness of dust
and staining dirt. 

The mirror concealing
my plastic-bottled pills
and vitamins
still tightly sealed
captures the age
of incessant sadness
and jeers 
my glimpse
and glance off the glass.

The bold blush,
the eye shadow,
and the glossy ruby 
in the drawer
tired of pulling 
are nothing now
but smudges 
of uncertain fingers
on my face.

I look around:
the cobwebs 
on the threadbare curtains;
and listen:
the scratchy French song
on the radio;
my nose inhales
the purple stench 
of lavender. 

Disrobing is as easy
as putting 
a feather boa
around my neck
or making heavy sterling
dangle from my lobes
when I used to dance
bare skin 
in a cabaret. 

I step into the hush
of the grayish water
inviting me 
to my last bathing
in diffusing black
then blood
while in my hands
a dagger 
and a fountain pen.

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