Twenty Questions

Your song—an accompaniment?
Because you’re made to, paid to?
If half as many shadows stretched
across sandy light and salty puddles,
would you still?

Perhaps, you sing for her?
Does she keep secrets in that bag?
Hers-to-yours-lipstuck-aching stowed next to
Lady’s lipstick?
Hidden behind blush brush,
rouge recollections of stolen glances,
a thief caught in the act?
Do painted know such mineral and
oil render forgery?
A spotty imitation of those who
have not, want not?

Do witnesses of this seaside spectacle realize
love hangs in the balance?
Not the gold, or the mean?

Years of side-by-
side service giving way to minutes—
maybe hours, if Master’s away—
of conjoined servicing
of one another’s… Need I say more?

Made-shade discarded for the pelt of truth?
Inhibitions, parasols sheathed?

A pocketful of answers?
Amid trouser lint, ’neath
handkerchief?
A ring, wages saved and spent?
To be presented on your own beach,
own canvas,
to your own tune?

Will you confess, in love as in life, good sir—
dutifully, on the spot?
Or, were you maliciously, artfully
framed?