Queasy feelings my friends will testify
against me, crackling static in the trumpet
of loyalty. Success is a flouncy
nightgown, easily shed or stunk by sweat
to the sticking point. Moral cleavage pains

the victim more than perp’s new conscience
pricks the perp. Decolletage shows pendulous
ethics: what a tease, the rich milk of cash
crowing all night long! And my pesky role
in these revues? Out of the red, into

the black: a twirl away from Uncle Karl,
rationalizing the downtrodden, streams
of revenue, cut lilies in blown glass
vases, eating nasturtiums at gourmet
spots while alley’d cats cling to cardboard shrines

in back. The character witness got bored
and went home. The mirror might say a few
polished words on behalf of the plain but
simple truth. Even she’s not cracked up
to what she’s supposed to be? Melting to sand

as we speak? Turning state’s, stool pigeons sing
penny-arcade operettas of indifference.
One: saw my glistening sister in the shower
and did not turn away, greedily kept
looking. Thirteen years. Two: stole my mother’s

change from her dresser drawer while she was out
making girls plié to put food in the fridge.
Seven years. Three: wished violent ends to both
piano teacher and nose-picking shrink
by way of commuter-train crossing. Ten years.

I was just a kid but the list goes on
like an old warped record, skipping, skipping
all the way to a special school for those
special kids in nasty orthopedic shoes.