My Tameless Trickster

My Tameless Trickster
by Azadeh Azad

with bouncing steps and smell of wild

she walks on the streets cornered

by tickle for trembling rapture

halts in the middle of a side show


half ogre, half angel, fully androgynous

dressed in psychedelic red and blue

baggy suit with big buttons

she laughs like a hyena


pulls her lengthy hair

flips into the air

shape-shifts into a mockingbird

for a fraction of time

and explodes in mid-song


resurfaces as a white man

stops me and asks for direction

wants me to hold his newspaper

then repeats my response wrong

makes me feel confused

susceptible to suggestion

then asks for my clutch purse

in a disarming voice


I hand him my possession

seconds of silence on my face


as I come to with a start

yelling, aghast at the ruse

he tosses my purse to a Native bum

down the road and walks off


I run through the cool of late afternoon

chasing the hobo for my riches

cars stop, drivers watch the scene

as the purse turns into powder in his grip

before a shelter for the homeless

right beside a Starbucks café


around the bend pirouettes my trickster

now a stilt-walking dwarf with wings

pacing backwards, in a T-shirt that reads

"Did you bend a rule this morning?"


her black shadow upon the fading day

she throws confetti and dice (not rice)

at green mortals with linear logic

her rolling mess of laughter in twilight.


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