it is pretty, this little necklace.

this fragile chain

ironic

delicate and golden like all happy things.

I gave you a copper chain;

heavy and binding and strong

– it turned your neck green –

but this golden thing,

this thing of light and beauty

I could snap without bruising the skin above my collar

the skin where you rested your hands

your lips

recently/ the other day/ not so very long ago.

this fragile thing of brittle hope

bitter and warm and bright,

binding but it does not weigh

convincing but it does not sway,

this thing.

it is a pretty, this little necklace.

hope is pretty.

hope is foolish, hope is blind, hope is all the clichés of the world in a brightly colored package,

packages of pilgrims

packages of mothers

packages of the lost and dying and the

disillusioned.

we love our illusions.

we love our little gold-fed dreams

we love our labels and our claims and our hopeful little contracts

love is binding, isn't it?

"I love you"

how many tongues,

how many lies,

I lie to you but do you lie to me?

can you lie to me?

can we all lie or is it only me, drowning in this our false and salty sea

it is pretty, this little necklace.

it is pretty, your happy face

happy with my silvered truths, happy with my poison lips.

it is pretty

it is golden

it is light and it is beauty and I am the night coming to take it all away.