History’s Histrionics

She moves with a
Neoclassical grace,
each stiffly postured motion
premised
and pretensed
in staged extravagance whose effect
is one of seismic shifts
and cultural
sashays, ever sliding
forward, yet away from
herself.
She is so
old-fashioned,
yet avant-garde,
her swishing secondhand hem line the
cutting edge
while her precipitous
la-criminations
are the indulgence of every
conceited season.
Among a soiree of
charlatans and
Charlemagnes
she is the most honest and open
in her
duplicities.
A coy smile one moment
gives way to a
great wailing the next
over the pettiest faux pas,
and yet
the tiniest trifle
so wildly affects her
that it affects us all
as the whole world stands at the ready
to defend her honor
with war
while the mascara
runs lugubriously down her face
to sweep us away with its
black, murky drama of
“When?”
and “Why?”
and “How?”
and “Who?”
as we prepare the
duelling pistols
with which we will
give her one more bloody matter
whereby to practice herself
the tragedienne.

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