Cleopatra does vaudeville

as the bells chime

in time, in time—


the pushy broad is no mime,

yet she swirls white-faced,

she kneels, she dips—


the pushy broad is the writer

of this Black-Geisha script

reaching palms open,


she reaches past the tomb,

past the past, backing into

bloody memory of misquotes


and asps—her statues

swim from Egypt, slither

to the Yucatan—at last


she boards the ark

wearing nothing but her dark

rose and smile—her push


is more stroke than pose.


          for Lorilee Evans-Lynch

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