The slip of political ideology is showing,
the way my mother’s satin slip slid
down around my ankles the night
we ate at Benihana’s. The safety pin
jabbed into the waist folds came undone
and I lost hold of her idea of me
dressing the part of meritocracy.
Shoulders backed up against the wall, I slinked
along believing I was hiding the unraveling,
not comprehending the 360 degree view
every patron in the multinational steakhouse
had of my pearly underskirt.
But the blaze of sizzling theatrics
and intricate knife work slicing, dicing
raw meat into spectacles of repetition
kept the carefree customers mesmerized
and saved me from the embarrassment
Perhaps this is what democracy is doing,
inching along the ivory wall of enemy countries,
trying to hide the soft pocket of colonial notions, unhinged
and slipping out from beneath the holy raiment.
Perhaps no one notices
the way all those hungry jaws open
to welcome in an entertaining cascade
of bright dead things.
Samantha Wallen, MFA is a poet, writer, writing guide & book coach who offers writing circles, workshops, community writing programs, private mentoring, and retreats for writers & want-to-be writers. Her work on and off the page seeks to restore the soul of our world one word at a time.