If I refused to shine would your determined polishing work anyway?
If I twist and squirm from under your thumb
will the rags and wax still buff me to that New Car Glow?
Would that touch of class you keep hanging on me like medals
stolen from a real warrior
lose their brightness,
dulling like my eyes,
and will the ribbons fray
because I keep rubbing against the brick wall
trying to slough this borrowed skin off.
I plugged my ears and only allowed myself the barest tic of a nod while interviewers chirped
and your doomsday grin never wavered
even as your eversolicitous hand guiding my arm so sweetly
pinched down hard.
and all I can think of is empty skies
where no other birds can clutch at your feathers
and the wind pays you no mind.
Smile Wave Agree Smile Smile Smile…
The mills grind so fast that the wheels burn out
and the water steams away and people disappear into a cloud of chaff,
and the glossy screaming posters would have us believing that it all tastes the same…
but bread is not meant to be seasoned with blood and
my face should not be contraband
not another notch joining the sawtooth mountain skyline
highlighted against the backdrop of your reputation.
If I refused to shine will my light still be enough to steer by?
To thread through crowded rooms of dark mirrors
where mannequins serve up tomorrows memes with a wink and a smile
and viral is the infection it is acceptable to catch.
If your grip on my arm cannot be bought
there only remains the knife.