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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