Her head held high
Her arms braiding, then “essing”,
As her lithe trunk sways, to and fro
To the hypnotic notes of the clarinet.
Practiced she is, in the arts of dancing,
Holding every eye, except her own, fixed and rapt,
With her plush, yet muscled undulations.
Her eyes were just as fixed, but upon a
Thin, mustachioed gentleman, seated in the center of the room.
~ ~ ~
Dressed in blinding white raiment,
Pale skin of an odd cast,
His eyes are the only thing about him
That looks alive.
Oh yes, except for his hands,
Which twist and wrench, each
Determined to subdue the other.
His feet, resting on the back of a slave girl, are cloaked
With flawless tanned deerskin.
~ ~ ~
The dancer’s undulations continue, rhythmic and paralyzing,
As a snake would charm its prey.
The only movement in the room,
Crowded with well-dressed men and soldiers,
Besides her, are their heaving chests and
Nether regions – and the mustachioed man’s hands.
Almost imperceptibly, her position on the polished
Floor moves in the direction of a red silk-veiled
Doorway at the end of the hall.
~ ~ ~
The mustachioed man’s face, before a pasty grave image,
Transforms into a smirking demon’s chesire grin.
He reaches for his glass of blood red wine,
resting on the back of a slave boy, then gulps the contents.
As the dancing goddess disappears behind
The red veils, he stands abruptly.
“LET HIM GO.” He commands.
A soldier stands at attention: “Yes, M’Lord”,
And removes the blade away from the dancer’s young son’s throat.