Vashti: A Poem For Purim

By Stacey Z. Robinson

I remember when he crooned,
Come, dance for me!
And I would,
just for him.

And Oh! It was
glorious, all silk and
heat and lithesome.
I moved like fire
I moved like water

And later, he moved
with me,  a different kind
of heat, and he called me
his queen.

When did crooning
turn to calling,
and calling to demand?

Dance, he says,
Dance for me, and move
your hips,
and wet your lips
and come – as if I were
his pet, a bitch to lap up
praise from her master,
kept on a collar and leash.

But I am queen.

I am fire,
and water,
and lithe.

I will not dance
when you call.