• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 08

The Midas Touch

She was a wealthy pauper,
yet she had something I didn’t,
and so I followed behind
watching her transformations.
Everything she touched turned––
I was looking for just such a turn
when I sat down beside her.
I asked for advice about amassing wealth.
We were talking about distribution,
stowing away, hiding, investment,
and how to get ahead of
the market to cash in early.
Unexpectedly she leaned
over and touched me.
I remember the sudden oppressive
heat, her greedy look,
her salacious smile melting
into something macabre
as my sight occluded.


The Midas Touch

Outside I am golden,
awash with liquid glitz,
the flash and gleam of coin
when it meant something.
Now I’m smelted, hardening
into statuesque bright flesh
for all to view in shop windows,
in parks, transmitting unconsciously
the meaning of money to all
and sundry, consumers
in a world designed
for single identities, global consumers,
come one, come all.

My mouth and eyes encrust.
Inside (the part you can’t see)
I am screaming. I know now
I will die in the alchemy of it.
My face and hand hardened
in mid-gesture. I was slurring,
trying to say something
but could only stutter
the beginning syllables
of an unpronounceable word.

What was it I was trying to say?
I recall my final gesture, reaching
with my right hand to cover my heart
as all of me calcifies into gold.
The outside fixed but the insides
enduring, retreating into the
last domain, before it too
hardens into gold.