you greet me with your gratuitous smile,
your plastic-flower image, and oh-so-courteous temperament.
You taunt me with your high-styled manners
and your generous remarks snub me as they normally do.
“How do you take your Beluga?” and “Which wine do you prefer?”
and “Oh, I didn’t mean to assume—I’ll be happy to select for you.”
You quickly explain to all of your friends
my regrettable shortcomings and beg them to forgive
my sinful lack of politesse, and then
politely excuse yourself and float across the room,
leaving me blundering in your cultural forum.
As I bitterly gaze at your perfect state,
your fashionable clothing gaily stabs me in the back—
your mission in life, so-to-speak.
Crimson faced, I hate to admit
your silky silhouette does look stupendous
in your A-line frock and jacaranda dyed heels.
I would never say it conflicts with your artistically painted face,
contrasting so vibrantly your pale complexion.
Bullhorn-bright and swelling with pride,
you sweep through the room, bulldozing my dignity
with your swanky attire and arrogant demeanor.
Slowly, I slide away from the circle of beautiful people
and fade into the paisley wallpaper,
which, I might add, is out of style.
Here I blend
Again, I gaze in your direction,
your elegant coiffure turns up its nose at my violin-string hair.
Mortified, I hide
humbly in the corner reserved for shopping school dropouts.
Slouching behind your ornate décor,
I look down at my flower-flocked frock and Payless shoes,
and ponder my sanity—why did I come?
I really must control these masochistic tendencies.
Swallowing down my caustic remorse; emerging
I slither my worm body over to your graceful self
and settle at your satin shoes.
Weakly, I rise up through the ashes of my incinerated pride
and face your rude disposition.
“Although it’s been so lovely, I really must be going,”
I croak as I meet your captivating blue eyes with my insipid ones.
“Before dinner? Oh well, if you must,”
you drawl so gallantly, perceiving your work is complete,
and I may again return to my hovel, properly placed.
Recognizing the dominance of your station, I retreat.
Backing down from the challenge, I fall into line
at the prosaic end of the pecking order.
There really was never any debate.–Christina Knowles
Image from laplayaclub.com