Take All But Me by Chelsea Rawlings

The mirror speaks her financial advisor,
invest in the stocks and bonds
of the soft skin on her arms,  softer than sand slipping through
dirty fingers playing in Jamaica’s naked land.

Painted distortion,
black soot trims her lids like the lining
from all of yesterday’s fires
on the chimney’s peak,
when summer plays,
still the soot remains
without recognition
to the effort that all her smoke gave.

So she gave it all away
to splay like an asterisk across a stage,
exhibiting forced pride,
the red bull and vodka,
ingested to hide
appearing all, but the mess
she was

Fun house mirrors,
she gazed away her time,
and swallowed the shallow compliments
her income easily provides.

The only connections made
were snaps
that elapsed between
the green of a smiling bill
and the elastic of her g-string.

The only thing that saved her,
a stripped ounce of dignity,
is that they could never see her,
only the Riley that they knew her to be.

Her smile,
the reflection of a vile
injecting the dope into their stream
for a quick fix they couldn’t find
in their wives’ arms.

The same tune played every night,
in the less than candle dimmed light
that shadowed the scars on the entertainer’s faces,
creating the illusions of satisfaction,
when the most they had to look forward to
was the long drag of a cigarette,
as they emptied their crown royal bags
at the end of the night.

of the inertia
of those dirty paws,
their scum
but felt,
with each emblem
that burned from their eyes,
hot coals on her thighs.

They won’t take this from me,
my freedom of identity,
my evidence of purity,
policed by my heart,
and sold to no one, but the deserved.
My love they never earned.

Just an appearance,
a “Hello” and “Goodbye”,
has justified the means
of my experience.
Wanting now to shed a tear
for those angels,

dancing like broken ballerinas,
naked on the stage
for those who wish to pay,
feeding the devil,
for a ticket to the carnival
of an absence of souls.
This path I will no longer go.

Chelsea Rawlings has conceived over one thousand poems from her cerebral loins in fourteen years of creative writing experience. You can find most of her work on Allpoetry.com under the alias Alexandrathegreat, where she has posted over six hundred poems throughout the years. Her work has been featured in The Wolfian twice, as well as The Zombie Logic Review. Her first poetry collection, The Angels’ Trumpets, was just published this month by Purple Unicorn Media, out of Great Britain. It is available on Amazon, Kindle, as well as the editor’s website.