Femme Fatale It's hard to be a femme fatale with a sheet-creased face, sleep frosting your lids like salt on a margarita glass and your hair radiating in black Medusa helixes. It's hard to be a femme fatale as you rise from night's bed in a rumpled T-shirt and watch, mesmerized, in the mirror the morning's glory that is you. Yes, it's hard to pull it off but somehow... I do. **originally published in Collection II: Poems and Art from Members of Arts on the Park Singularity But she wouldn't, would she? The knife, the car, the plane were in reach, if only she would. It hung there, a subtle singing in her ears, saying This is the way out. But she wouldn't, not her. Everything, she knows, turns on a single step forward into darkness, into light, into the subtle singing. One look back and there it is, taking on whatever form that challenges testing her mettle and all she knows. Knife. Car. Plane. A singularity. Her ears sting. It has to stop. The step looms. But would she? She did. Excerpt from The Language of Prayer I. It is sibilant and blood-flushed filled with keening voices wafting high on fragrant air. It is words without form bearing witness to lives before and after us. It is the relief our aching throats find in singing praises, heads flung back in open gratitude. It is ritual and incantation letting us wash our bodies of rusty burden and regret.