Fare Well

Farewell,

my love.

It seems I knew you not.

The sound of the closing door

was a whispered sob

that only served to

amplify the tearing of

separation.

 

Farewell,

my love.

It seems we both forgot.

The days of laughter and love,

at once torrid and tender.

Our words of fealty

and the promises in stone

eroding with time

and the day to day

decay of fantasy.

 

Farewell,

my love.

We gave it our best shot.

The letdown felt like chains

and the arguments were

thorns in the side

that never healed,

and mortal grace

was insufficient.

 

Farewell, my love.

We didn’t love a lot.

Our curses even now ring like

minor key bells

in my memory.

 

Farewell, my love.

In beauty there is rot.

And in the sun’s persimmon rays

we say farewell to better days

in the land of loving thought.

 

Fare well, my love.

 

Clear as Dark Glass

In the window

at dawn

you used the light

to wink at me.

I came to the window

to admire you

and assess what it would mean

to possess you.

And now inside,

I hold you,

and see that you are etched

with life’s hieroglyphs.

They are a riddle,

and you are a puzzle.

‘I know you,’ I say,

holding your dusky essence,

turning you in my hands.

I hold you up to the light

and look through dark glass,

seeing clearly where I would come to rest

in tortured love sublime.

The Infinite Aftermath

Standing here with you

we watch the past fade

like the ocean

on the stern of a ship.

The ripples we created

long smoothed over

to glassy stillness,

and whether blood.

sweat, or tears bob

in its wake,

they have all been sipped

or burned away.

 

What carrion of enmity

remains

has long been picked clean.

What remains of affection

sways in the darkness

in the cold current.

And together

we slip apart

into the

infinite aftermath

of

used to be,

and

might have been.

What Can I Give You?

What can I give you?

“A strong, solid love,

imperfectly pure

as it flows

from above.”

What can I give you?

“A still, patient soul,

devoted emotions,

attention that’s whole.”

What can I give you?

“A smile and a hug,

and tea sweet with honey

when I have a bug.”

“What can I give you?”

Your honesty, trust,

the key to your heart.

I will not let it rust.

“What can I give you?”

Your best, and your hand.

And be there at times that

you won’t understand.

“What can I give you?”

The path where we walk

together

in silence that doesn’t need talk.

What can I give you?

To be as before.

Just stand here beside me.

We need nothing more.

 

 

Words of Love, Unspoken

Words of love, unspoken, are heard as screams.

Words of love, unspoken, are as violent as any fist.

Words of love, unspoken, bring shadows of despair.

Words of love, unspoken, are hungry, cold children crying in the dark.

Words of love, unspoken, are midnight torches quenched in rain.

Words of love, unspoken, are songbirds with broken wings.

Words of love, unspoken, are hands letting go.

Words of love, unspoken, die

and take

love

with them.

Why Do You Love Me?

“Why do you love me?”

Why should I not?

“How much do you love me?”

I love you a lot.

“What is it you love, then?”

Your smile and your eyes,

your musical laughter,

your soft, tender sighs.

Your hair in the moonlight,

Your eyes when they shine

with tears of rejoicing

when I say you’re mine.

Your lips when they kiss me,

your hands when they touch,

your arms when they hold me

too long and too much.

Now tell me you love me.

“You know that I do.”

I want you to say it.

“Yes, I love you too.”

How much do you love me?

“As wide as the sky,

as deep as the ocean,

as loud as a cry,

as hot as the desert,

as pure as the snow.

My darling, I love you.

You know that.

You know.”

 

 

 

Desert Thorns

The evening air dried the day’s sweat on their skin, pushing it past the surface and into their bones. The slavers didn’t care if they succumbed. Only the strongest were fit to serve; the rest they left to the scouring sand.

Finding themselves too thinly dressed for the cooling weather, two young women hugged themselves for modesty and warmth.

The cleric’s cruel eyes noticed, gleaming in lustful anticipation.

They noticed him too.

Hakina, the bolder of the two, dared to narrow her eyes in haughty defiance.

With a sneer disguised as a smile, the cleric sauntered his way over to where they sat in their own filth, chained to each other and a heavy steel pole, his nose wrinkling at the stench.

He turned to the bent-back whose duty it was to shadow him and obey his every command, no matter how abusive, disgusting, or self-abasing.

“Clean this one and bring her to my tent at the edge of the camp.”

“Nameless hears and obeys, Cleric Hameen.”

“Nameless pleases. Now go.”

The bent-back shuffled off as his master turned his attention back on Hakina.

She wanted to keep quiet but her hatred wouldn’t allow it.

“One such as you seeks to break me?”

He slapped her down, kicking some of foul sand toward her eyes.

“Little bitch, I will shatter you before this night is done.”

“You call me ‘bitch,’ but it’s you who shall howl, pretender!” Her eyes burned and stung as she wiped at them, trying to gain her footing .

He punched her, slamming her down again.

Her mouth was bleeding.

He pulled her hair to tilt her head, wiped her lips hard with a rough hand, smearing the blood on her cheeks as she sought to dislodge herself.

For her defiance, he pressed her cheeks in hard on both sides until she drooled and cried out from the pain. Her hands came up to throttle him, but the clinking of the chain checked her.

The movement and its intent wasn’t lost on him, and he sneered again.

“We shall see.” His quiet voice belied the storm in his eyes as he shoved her away and walked off, leaving her gasping for air and rubbing her jaw.

Her fellow captive went to help her up, but Hakina slapped her hand away.

“Do you seek to have us die before sunrise?” Isani asked.

“I seek to have us free by moonrise, if you’ll help me. The fate of women is ever the same in these places.”

Hakina gained her feet without assistance, looking up at the evening sky as she wiped the tears the cleric forced out of her with the back of her dirty sleeve.

As for Isani, this was the third time she was captured, and she vowed it would be the last. They’d taken her mother and sister too, slaughtering her father as he knelt, crying and pleading for the lives of his family at the expense of his own.

They granted his wish and took their time enjoying it, but set no one free.

She’d managed to escape through playing the ‘broken woman,’ and endured their sick games as they used her. When they were confident she understood her place, she quietly killed them. Blades, poison, acid on their groins after they were gagged. Whatever lay nearby.

The camp guards never questioned her when she left the camps crying, her face puffy and her clothing torn. They sneered, making their own lewd remarks and rubbing themselves as she passed, offering their own crude versions of comforting her.

By the time they discovered their dead, she was long gone.

She sighed, looking after the retreating form of the impious, impure cleric.

“Done, if you manage to include me in the tryst.”

Hakina looked her over, a mirthless smile on her lips.

“I think I can manage that.”