Cento: “Dear Sir Or Madam,”

He danced for those in minstrel
shows and county fairs, saving up
to buy him some clothes. No one
ever knew his name ’cause he’s
a no-one. Here I am

on my knees, begging if you
please: is there a letter
in your bag for me? I
didn’t want to rock
your boat, but you sent this
dangerous note – and I say,

“Little sister, don’t you do
what your big sister does:
dance beneath the diamond
sky over men and horses,
hoops and garters, short
skirts and skinny legs.”

Selling bibles and real
estate, I’d rather be famous
than righteous or holy. When
I look at the television,
I wanna see me. Will you let me
control the handles? You
know it’s the best thing
I’ve ever seen. Your heart

seems so silent. Why do you
breathe so low? Please
turn on your magic beam,
put your little hand in mine.
When you’re rockin and
a-rollin, you can’t hear your
momma call, “Domo arigato!”

Stroll around the grounds
until you feel at home.

*

(fleeting) @rnv