Kristin Garth

Gloved Hands Are The Cruelest In A Ballroom 

You pray on parquet before it begins
not to a god or seraphim but to 
the pinstriped swathed cock of one of his friends 
that he may be softer than it is to you.

Your leash released into his hand is yanked
until you hurriedly stand so he can 
whisper evils he has planned.  You will thank 
him later on the ground while others stand 

in masks, ballgowns.  You hear rustles of ruffled 
skirts, whispers of women who want to see
you hurt summon another to muffle 
the mouth with lace opera gloves.  Screams 

allowable as you appraise your doom. 
Gloved hands are the cruelest in a ballroom. 

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