Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

The elephant in the room
is a ceremonious diva
she carries her weight confidently
like Queen Latifah
and she can get you with that Queen look
you know the one I'm talking about
sideways, eyes slit
burgundy lips
wrinkle a warning
and a "mmmhmmm"
vibrates from a place
deep beneath her blouse
you know you'll never see.

The elephant in the room
seeks low places
not for the company
she hides behind a burqa
of clay and cottonwood leaves
but uses her eyes as a weapon
sleeps on cool sandbars
tail thumping unconsciously
to bullfrog, deep pool bass
casting flies and other,
more savvy suitors
to the corners of her dreams.

The elephant in the room
has hips that can knock a man
off bar stools
and bus stops on Central
she sways her trunk
like a bossa nova
through the bosque
and down the ditch on Atrisco
sweeping for emotional land mines.

The elephant in the room
stands lonely in her exhibit
because branches and balls
can't bathe her
with mud and cool water
and she's forgotten
the ancient acoustics females use
to call a mate
or their herd
and doesn't know where to look.

The elephant in the room
is afraid of being alone
but elephants never forget
she wears the scrubbed coffee stains
of her shackles
and refuses to board the truck
to the next circus.

The elephant in the room
is so large that noone
can share her space
or get past the couch
placed near the front door
nothing grows in her shadow
not even tumbleweeds
the misanthropic nightshade
or love.

The elephant in the room
is every woman afraid
to be stuck with something
worse than celibacy
one less pillow or paycheck
to extract the fragments
from scar tissue sprayed over
3am grafitti on back doors
that read "too much"
or "not enough"
to those close enough
to decipher the swerving tire script.

Yasmeen Najmi

© 2010 Yasmeen Najmi

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