The world and its ladies of the night
Stare at my lilac cheeks,
The dark slits, my slanting eyes,
The wig cascading over
In synthetic purple whorls.
The mask grins fixedly.
Inside, my smile can’t grow bigger.
I totter in glittering boots.
Harlequin, the old shyness fades
Behind your face,
Grows into giddy bravado.
The ladies’ gentlemen converse,
Light a cigar in my honour.
They fail to recognise who I am,
Or see that the ice cream colours
Mask an inner harlequin.