When you dressed me as Cleopatra
I won the costume contest,
standing on the school stage, draped in royal
purple polyester, surveying my subjects,
a tinfoil crown on my head,
embellished with a small silver snake
shining over my hair. You knew flair.
I was a gypsy girl in dime store gold,
A cowgirl in faux and fringed buckskin,
Princess Leia loose in velvet folds of white,
brown yarn hair buns coiled and
set in place with secret bobby pins.
I was a robot with working lights,
I was a witch, I was a ghost. I was your girl.
I could be anything. You made
life fun sometimes. You made it
magic. You made the number
seven in M & M’s on my chocolate
cake. Mama you could be so sweet.
Theta Pavis is a poet and teacher. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including The Red Wheelbarrow, Mom Egg Review, and the chapbook Came With a ClapBack, published by Emotive Fruition. In 2021 her work will also appear in the anthology Why to These Rocks: 50 Years of Poetry from the Community of Writers (HeyDay Books). As the Director of Student Media at New Jersey City University, she works with first-generation college students.