I never was so frank or wise as when
playing Pompey in Measure for Measure.
The ways of women, and men with women,
became clear. I saw law tongued by desire
as lawmakers grew lost in desire’s grip.
Virtue, faith, and wisdom lost all power,
revealed as nothing more than words that slip
from a merciless tongue. For two hours
each night I knew what to say about right
and wrong in a world gone wild with deceit.
I saw the lost, even beyond the lights,
and was at home with them all. Tongue in cheek,
I spoke the truth from deep within my bones,
no longer young and no longer alone.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

On Lazarus, Weeks before Her Death


Bronwen Butter Newcott



Anya Krugovoy Silver

Repetition Compulsion


Bruce Beasley

The Scar


Adélia Prado

Pin It on Pinterest