To Be Given the World

“To Be Given the World”


Somebody said, “I’m gonna give you the world.”

I didn’t see his face. I didn’t even get partial plates.

But because I believed him—something in his words

rang true, and anyway I was enjoying my temporary insanity—

I left the station where the prince’s childhood friends and I were waiting

on a boat that never leaves the harbor.


Went out to where I thought he’d said to meet him.

And, waiting, wandered new home streets, always but never alone.

He never came, but I kept listening and looking

for a voice, a face, a sign that he was with me.

And the searching made the signs friendlier,

a graffiti artist turned red lights into hearts.


When I meet him, in this life or the next,

I know already part of what we’ll say.

“You promised me the world,” I’ll shake my finger.

“You had to trust me to go out and get it yourself,” he’ll smile.

And I’ll know that was his power all along.

The light inside the magic locket being the young girl’s own face.

The man behind the curtain waiting, hoping

for some sweet, lost lady to stand up to him and sing.