I was not, in the beginning of time, a head on a plate.
I was a foot that wriggle and writhed to escape.
I curled my toes to kick the wall, and I carried the bruise.
I used my instep like the back of my hand.
That was then, in a protected shadow, which remains as it was.
The hand was the hand and the foot was the foot.
Elsewhere, the head and groin were interchangeable.
Tonight, I hold my life in my hands, and my hands are small.
What if I am asked to hand over my life in a week?
Tonight, in a week, a year, an hour—all the same afterward.
My head on a plate, and what will it bring at auction?
Salome like it when I did what she said to.
Otherwise, we had what might be considered a falling out.
The guilt was not helpful and the condition inoperable.
I am tonight a pilgrim in a corridor of moonlight.
I, whose lot is the most one should ask, have learned a lesson.
I think of things formerly too terrible to contemplate.
And tell my friends, the fly and the spider.
The soup tastes like sacrifice.
I have taken in my belt.
I weary of carrying my head in on a plate.
If I were allowed to drink and laugh on the job.
But I have to carry my head in as if it were a set of jewels.
Eyes, of course, teeth, the cheekbones of appearance, the jawbone of discussion.
Others judge me by the resolve with which I continue to speak.