Please Excuse Me

Please excuse me
for I am not myself, you see.

You should see the real me.
She is cool-legged and cruel
and drinks too much coffee
outside bars in market squares, where
sunshine rests in empty mugs
and music plays.

Oh, you should see the real me.

See her when she’s sitting there,
she does not curl fern fingers
round elbows, or wrap up in herself.
Rather she unfolds, as ivy does.

Fingertips tapping the table
searching for cigarettes,
she lets careless words trip down her tongue
to be caught and, like butterflies,
pinned to paper.

The real me is a muse,
a moon,
both painter and painted,
wild-haired, wide-eyed
and tainted.
She smiles and smokes and sings
celestially.

She leaves an impression, a bruise
like ink. Like footsteps in the snow
I think,
both cold and delicate.
Yet,
Not melting, more
moving on.

So no, not white as snow.
Not innocent, more
blood-red lips and opal eyes.
More precious,
and more endless.

The better me is thinner,
and will grab your waist and whisper,
and then suddenly,
a stranger.
Moved on by the fish-hook moon
that guides her tide.
I magpie, a stealer of shine
but she’s not one for sorrow,
just a borrower of light.

So, please excuse me,
for I am not myself, you see?

You should see the real me,
she is lighter and more rhythmic.
But,
I am pinned in place
by meat, and pain
and good intentions.

There are lies laced in to the lines around my eyes
and they are less like kaleidoscopes.

So, she is the better me.
Not so much human-shaped, more siren.
Not so much flesh, more air.
Not so much care, more
moving on through memory
as a wicked woman,
with brilliant mind and filthy mouth
that you think of fondly
from time to time.

So, please excuse me,
for I am not myself, you see?

Not quite the self I’d like to be.

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