The Book of Esther

That blush on my cheek?
It’s paint.
And I have glittered my eyes
and robed myself in the finery
of silk and gossamer,
lapis and gold—
and whored myself for your salvation.

You asked for no thoughts.
You merely offered my body
to the king—
my life forfeit
if my beauty failed.

You asked for no ideas
and I gave you none,
though I had a thousand,
and ten thousand more.

Diplomacy was played on the field of my body,
the battle won in the curve of my hip
and the satin of my skin,
fevered dreams of lust
and redemption.

That blush on my cheeks?
It is the stain of my victory
and my shame.

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