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through lenses 
of oscillating memories, 
filaments fill in edges 
as recollections recast 
theater me, 
cast as Cordelia at LaGuardia, 
misled model me, 
tall and thin and 
molded into misfitting figures, 
tomboy me, prime-time fuse-breaker, 
Jazz vocalist me, 
singer of flamenco in Soho, 
sipper of flamed cocktails in speakeasies, 
Sierra explorer me, braver of bears,
tireless globe trotter me, 
imbiber of languages, 
cultural chameleon in Cairo, 
maven shapeshifter me,
sighted noshing on stingrays in Singapore. 

Flip the prism to ponder 
drained designer me, 
building lush lodgings 
in liminal spaces,
a desert swarmed 
by self-serving locusts 
laden with want, 
unmoored wanderer me, 
rooted in quicksand,
self-avoider void of marrow,
vengeful layer of landmines, 
Faustian diva me,
donner of self-inflicted shackles,
shedder of selves strewn
on a cutting room floor.

V.A. Bettencourt is a California-based author of poetry, creative nonfiction and flash fiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Magma Poetry, The American Journal of Poetry, and Willows Wept Review, among others. 

© 2022, V.A. Bettencourt

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