Arlene Ang The 2River View, 8.1 (Fall 2003)
Lucifer on his Knee with Diamond

Diamonds are the cruelest stones.
They glitter white fire,
a polished refraction of stoves,
stainlessware, even laundry suds.

My mother warned me early about men,
the penance for a single yes
genuflecting to scrub floors, collect
porcelain shards, turn the other cheek.

I wonder whether she will agree
to choose my flowers, perhaps stand up for me.
I am too old for words. Years have waylaid
my face into thinking: I am safe.

Like cheap motels, churches are fully booked.
I shall walk, a November bride, through fog,
the diamond cutting holes in my satin glove.
This veil is milk I shouldnt spill before its time.

But I hear my mother soaping dishes and feel certain
every red carpet leads to Christ on a cross.
His thorns will wrap around my hung finger,
every pew will hold the silver-coined gaze of Judas.

When I lift the chiffon, will he realize
my pumpkin corset lasts only until midnight?
He will be in black already grim with divorce,
perhaps the childlessness of monogamy.

Now he drops to his knee and mentions hand.
Im not sure if he is buying househelp,
but every ghost chain in my head rings alarm.
I pull away and re-box his temptation to hell.

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