American Geisha

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As quiet as is quaint,
my fingers tickle
their spines on shelves
of pine fresh painted.

Fat drops of cloudburst
freckle the glass
of windows ceiling high.

I choose one.
Only one.

It’s old and precious,
its leaves wicking wisdom
from the Bard himself.

I imagine I smell
the candles burnt back
when he wrote each line
in perfect iambic
pentameter.

I lounge on silk
sheets bought for
my first bleeding
and read poetry wrote
for girls more suited
to the finer things.

Lace. Cakes. Two pages,
then three, four, fifty.

Thunder. Three o’clock.
I clean up well, but
the finer things
don’t suit me –
except Shakespeare.
He fits my assumptions.

The owner of the book
returns from playing grown
up in a penthouse on Wall Street.
He calls me wife and kisses
my forehead, but I’m
still just his whore.

© The Poet Darkling