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The danger I need
to be rescued from
has a subtler face,
a less obvious name
on its business card
and a more exotic flower
on the lapel of its
Giorgio Armani suit
than the villains in
movies and comic books,
with nefarious schemes for
world domination
and I,
I am not your
archetypal heroine.

I make believe I have
fought my way
not to the top
—there is no top—but
to the center, away
from the spokes of the wheel
where the system touches
the dirt every other cycle,
so that I could confront
its ugly face.
So that instead of
being raped,
I could slow dance with it
in my expensive dress
and high heels, and
get it to pay for my dreams
while it screws me.
I rationalize with
a hope that hails from
my victim of a past,
that I could somehow leave
a mark on its heart
with my vain success story
and move it towards change.

I need to be delivered from
that greedy self-deception
that if I stay and swim
through the polluted waters
to the very end,
I will have won
against the river,
never mind that I
will be just as soiled
and corrupted as
the enemy I have
slept with to conquer.

Please save me from
my expert ability to
navigate and manipulate
the lies they
put us through,
my camels loaded
with gold and smuggled
through the loopholes
of modern crimes,
my trophy room full
of souvenirs from
the moral wasteland.
This is not the house
I want to raise
my children in.

Look for me
in the picket signs
of they who are the 99
and call out to me.
And I will try
to make my way back.

“Really Anonymous?” by photographer Slim Djilali


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