The Genie and I by John Grey

It’s not really a lamp.
more of an urn,
but it’s old,
its body egg-shaped,
its neck pencil-narrow. 

No doubt some
genie is imprisoned within.

But I’m reluctant to rub it.
I know what happens.
That Jinn emerges,
promises to fulfill three wishes 
but tricks me, 
in my eagerness,
to say the wrong thing,
turn my requests 
back on myself,
as it loudly laughs 
its way to freedom.

I’ve no need for greed
that oversteps its bounds,
desires that masquerades as wants,
dreams that come true
in the worst way possible.

So I leave it on the shelf
of the old antique store,
bid the owner farewell
and return to a life
where it’s up to hard work,
a modicum of chance, 
some calculated risk,
to get me what I want.

Sorry genie,
I’m saving my three wishes
for anyone but.

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