Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Charmer

He sat as they all do
in the lotus position
with a turban on his head
and a flute in his hand
his baskets all around him 
and the sound of hissing snakes
emanating from his skin.

He was just a man.

I drew closer to him
pulled in by the music
drawn in by his power 
and he asked 
if I would dance for him
just climb into a basket
and sway for him
and I laughed and said no,
I don't sway for just anybody
just any old snake charmer
I don't climb into baskets
for a stranger
and dance.

I should have walked away
just then, kept my mouth shut
just then, and my ears closed 
just then, because
I am so easily hypnotized.
But he was just a man, really,
just a boy, really,
and so I laughed.

He shifted his position
on his dark red pillow and 
cocked his eyebrow at me and
began to play his flute for me then
began to charm me then
and the lies began to pour
from his mouth
just then
coiling into hissing snakes
at his feet
just then
slithering toward me
muscular and glittering and
full of flattery and promises
just then.

"Beautiful," one said
and wrapped itself around my ankles.
"So special," said another
as it twined around my thighs.
"Sweet and lovely," hissed another
coiling around my belly.
"I am here for you, darling," 
hissed a particularly powerful one
all diamonds and patterns and
blood red eyes.
And those meaty muscular snakes
coiled and slithered
around my limbs and around my chest
held me close around my neck
and bound me tight 
until I was frozen and unable to move
but my heart continued to beat
and I could hear its distant drumbeat
and I was afraid.

And then that charmer 
put me in a basket 
just any old basket 
and played his flute for me
played so darkly for me
to make me dance for him
and dance I did
I was helpless not to
and it wasn't even my best dancing
bound so tightly as I was 
by his lies.

I swayed in that basket
all that long day 
and far into the night.
For two nights I swayed 
until early that last morning 
when he suddenly 
and without warning
flung his flute aside and 
slammed the lid of the basket
down onto my head
because he had finished with me
he had no more use for me
he was bored with me now
and so he strolled off into the sunset
without a backward glance
looking for other dancers
he could charm with his flute
leaving me bound by his lies
his magical coiling snakes
leaving me to untangle 
the now lifeless 
but still twitching serpents
from my warm soft body. 

September 29, 2009

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