by Chioma Okereke

her belly swollen with empty promises
she sews her pride around her
to shield her from your lies
that burn like kisses
but the tongue behind those crooked teeth is gentle
she places her hope on the mantle
next to her soul
it has long since left her body, the sheets are cold-
when she sleeps can you feel her wounded sighs?

Defeat seeps thru her pores;
this ice around her heart won't thaw
you don't want her anymore
but cannot bring your mouth to form the words
your vocal chords;
that once sang her name like it was a caress
and wore her love like your best party dress;
are scorching your throat as you look in her eyes
you can't see the tears but her whole being's on fire.

you who said you'd stay forever
thru thick and thin; well here's the stormy weather
Yet suddenly 'together'
became a heavy cross to bear;
a vacant look that was once sincere
fills the silence and the yawning chasm
deeper and more powerful than any orgasm
the two of you have ever shared-
now deceit and shadows share your bed.
At night you're too ashamed to dream
in case your lips betray your sin.
But she doesn't need a picture show
to confirm what she already knows
It's in your smell, your look, your voice
that she learned your secret choice.
Sadness beckons her to his corner
He kisses her gently as if to warm her
but the viper coiled around her soul
is too afraid to let her go.

With every step her belly sways
the sober gait of a woman betrayed.

Woman by Chioma Okereke

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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