The More Things Change

It doesn't seem to matter
how hard you try to change your ways--
you're branded for life

people only see what they want,
no matter which hat you wear
or what attitude you adopt

that mold is unbreakable;
the form, unchangeable...
this snake just can't shed its skin

the dirty, soiled slip still shows beneath the fresh new skirt
the filthy black sin still shows through the white linen

maybe it's something that shows in your eyes;
something you can't possibly hide that still comes through
and gives you away, that part of you that you thought had died
and has nowhere to go--
a tainted soul in exile,
not entirely ruined, but bruised around the edges

even though you no longer stray down the wrong path,
it comes to meet you;
when men put their hand on your thigh,
the dark past comes rushing up to greet you,
to pull that black hood over your head until you choke,
and everything you've done to crawl out of that hole
is now disregarded; mocked, voided--
a bad punch line to an even worse joke...
you stumble and falter in shock
before you slowly start to lift your eyes
to meet their drooling leer
and realize
the future


My life is a mess.
I crash into men
like a hurricane seeking shelter
from its own storm

their sweet talk gets me every time
and I give myself away like candy,
trading bits of my life for their secrets and lies
until I can't tell where I begin
or where I end

some days even the mirror has no face

I bloom in the darkness,
opening like a flower in my search for the sun
being plucked by this hand and that;
picked clean right down to the bone...
and what's left I drag home,
tuck away beneath layers of alcohol or pills
and try to reach back to a time
when I was unsullied and still whole,
before I'd lost my way and climbed
into any bed I could find...
and, in trying to remember,
trying my damndest to forget
exactly what it was
I'd been searching for in the first place

Cynthia Ruth Lewis is once again poisoning the underground scene after a 2-year hiatus. She currently resides in Sacramento, CA.

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