letter to a purple ruby on a gold chain

May 27, 2010
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you have a quiet dignity, dangling
(as you do)
in my jewelry display
between the faux-gold owl with the mean orange rhinestone eyes
and the colorful plastic string of moon boots
(we both know you don’t belong)
you should be encircling the white neck of a young noblewoman
in a Renaissance portrait
you should be living in unworn, dusty splendor
amid icy diamonds and dull pearls
in an old heiress’s lock box
you should be gleaming cruelly
in the sun-dappled window of a store where women sail in
on arid pink clouds of perfume
and demand the best
instead, you are here
smoky gem surrounded by cheap plastic
a jewel among baubles and toys
and when I close your delicate gilt clasp
and feel your lacy chain links cold against my throat
I am grateful
(and only a little bit sorry)

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