When In Rome

From my Poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

When In Rome

I was talking to a Swiss girl,
she told of a former classmate 
who plucked out all of her eyelashes,
inflicting a vulnerability on her soul.

I bartered with the tale of a girl
who shaved off all of her eyebrows.
I’d received the news when drinking beer
by the Colosseum, 
that place where gladiators
had impaled by trident and sword point.
She had scalped herself with a Bic.

(She met me at the airport, masked by a silk bandanna. 
I knew what she concealed. She knew that I knew.)

Sometimes she would descend the stairs 
wrapped in a yellow sari dress:

“Look at me, I’m a Punjabi girl!”

Dancing around the room like some
insubstantial sylph


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