Small, eyes narrowing,
tracking your prey with feigned friendship —
I know who you are, with your erratic
charge (manipulation cloaked as passion).

Betrayal as a muse
{a doppelgänger, mocking}tritely
bestowing your grace on those you torture,
a benefactress of asphyxiation.

Hollow words drip
from your hollow fangs
(curved from years of use, still sharp)
silence killing for its cruelty.

{Don’t think}Don’t believe
you’re not seen, there, hiding
in the shadows, in the rocky crevices, in the absences
of where you should have been{should be}

I saw you, there and where,
not here —

Not Here.

While others were.
Were Here.

not there and where,
{scales flashing in the sun}

Letting others be charmed
the viper
who tattoos her venom into their minds.



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C. Streetlights

As a child, C. Streetlights listened to birds pecking at her rooftop, but instead of fearing them, was convinced they would set her free and she’d someday see the stars. Southern California sunshine never gave C. Streetlights the blonde hair or blue eyes she needed to fit in with her high school’s beach girls, her inability to smell like teen spirit kept her from the grunge movement, and she wasn’t peppy enough to cheer. She ebbed and flowed with the tide, not a misfit but not exactly fitting in, either. Streetlights grew up, as people do, earned a few degrees and became a teacher. She spent her days discussing topics like essay writing, Romeo and Juliet, the difference between a paragraph and a sentence, and for God’s sake, please stop eating the glue sticks. She has met many fools, but admires Don Quixote most because he taught her that it didn’t matter that the dragon turned out to be a windmill. What mattered was that he chose to fight the dragon in the first place. Streetlights now lives in the mountains with a husband, two miracle children, and a dog who eats Kleenex. She retired from teaching so she can raise her children to pick up their underwear from the bathroom floor, to write, and to slay windmills and dragons. She is happy to report that she can finally see the stars.


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