The Juice-thief

Sticky rice-encrusted ringlets and a rainbow of crepe paper
knotted and twisted around little pink berry toes
hardly define the small man
(who is spring, summer, winter and fall within the course of an hour but mostly spring)
as hot, giant, indignant, hyperbolic tears declare his most recent betrayal,
contradicting the small, desperate arms clinging to the Juice-thief's thick shoulders
(attached to thick forearms
attached to thick hands
attached to thick Juice-thieving fingers)--
the Juice-thief whose thick Juice-thieving fingers had suddenly, unapologetically stolen what had been very clearly HIS--
he'd clung to it, needed it--not because he was thirsty but because it was HIS--his very own juice--

He'd protested in painful, desperate, frequently protolinguistic pleas
until at last his voice (misunderstood and hoarse and mournful)
had surrendered, put hors de combat, along with the rest of the company, head and heart and limbs,
wrapping his small ape body (and his crepe paper rainbow knotted spirit and little pink berry toes)
around the Juice-thief,
his finally silent sobs muffled in the thick neck of gentle musk and discount soap and salty sweat
and at last his sticky rice honey ringlets and the copper penny juice-thief tangles were an indistinguishable mess.

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