poem: the endgame

you hold my heart like a live grenade,
its pin on a chain around your neck,
a deadly pendant on your cold skin

your body coiled, prepared to throw my life away
at the moment before everything explodes,
the shrapnel of my affections piercing the souls
of passers-by who sympathize with my fate

threatening me with conditions and stipulations,
you tear up my proposal like a treaty that holds the peace
and deploy the lawyers, their words as tanks
aimed at my porous defenses

no diplomats will be needed tonight
no body armor can shield me from your guns
there’s nothing the medics can do
just another belligerent to be sacrificed on your battlefield

my friends will mourn
placing flowers, maybe poison hemlock,
at the tomb of the unknown lover

(2023)


Inspiration can come from anywhere, such as an album cover:

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