Loser Bait

Some of us
are chum.

Some of us
are the come-hither

gleamy in the middle
of the trap’s busted smile.

Though I let myself a little
off this hook, petard
by which I flail,

and fancy myself more
flattered — 
no ugly worm!

Humor me
as hapless nymph,
straight outta Bullfinch, minding
my own beeswax,

gamboling, or picking flowers
(say daffodils),

doing that unspecified stuff
nymphs do
with their hours,

until spied by a layabout youth,
or rapey God
who leaps unerring, staglike,
quicker than smoke, to the wrong idea.

Or maybe
the right?

For didn’t I supply
the tippy box, too?
Notch the stick on which
to prop it?

Didn’t I fumble the clove hitch
for the rope?
Leave the trip lying obvious
in the tall, buggy grass?

Ever it was.

Be the mat,
and the left foot finds you welcome.

Though there’s always a subject, a him
or herself. But to name it
calls it down, like Betelgeuse,
or the IRS.

It must be swell
to have both deed and
the entitlement, for leaners who hold our lien,

consumers who consume like
red tide ripping through a coastal lake?

Who find themselves so very well
when gazing in that kiddie pool, or any
skinny inch of water.

That guy, remember? How tell this tale
without him? A story
so hoary, his name’s Pre-Greek.

What brought Narcissus down?
A spotty case
of the disdains, I think,

a one-man performance
where the actor hates his audience.

More Poems by Erin Belieu