Still Undecided

Lovers are not made in cages
We put them there
I... put them there
The both of them, myself once among them
But those bars will change the best of us
to the worst in us
Look closer among the dodgy shadows,
and see the starving monsters
that torture and time have perfected
They have only the memory of love
left within them
Yet I'm willing to wager they still bleed

"Loose!" Cried the sad man
Down came the red rain
Now Cupid festers where hate's arrows
fell him in flight
My wet heart from his chest,
still bleeding as it lands
upon the coliseum's center;
kicking up the punchy dust

"Open!" cries the mad man
The she-wolves have long been sleeping
But, cutting through the noise of chains,
the sun is catching in their eyes
Opposing passions, equals in longing
I have forced them to wait beyond reason
And now all of my ghosts will watch
as they tear one another apart
For this is the price to be paid
when discarding what you cannot complete

Now a whole heart sits between them,
and I'm not asking them to share
Time to learn which of them truly
was meant to wear my bloody crown
I thought, perhaps, that I'd hear
their fragile voices ready for war
when the gates were lifted
But all I heard was inhuman breathing
as they shot into the winter sun

They ignored my offering;
taking immediate claws to one another
First was flung by her hair into the dirt
Last was launched at the wall by her ankle
Within minutes they'd stripped themselves
of all clothing and courtesy
They were slipping often in the blood,
while spitting fury at the other's existence
Last was slowly living out her namesake
First was preparing to go for the neck;
which she did...

with only her lips,
and the recollection of herself
Last could sense the sudden weakness,
but was too disarmed to take advantage
So she simply squeezed tighter
the hands holding hers down,
and felt an awakening of her own
They were soon kissing, while the
flowing tears served to clean their
forgotten faces

It was all I could do to kill them quickly
without killing myself alongside
Thought I heard them whispering
forgiving words of love to each other
as the life left their beaten bodies
And I'll never know if it was involuntary
muscle movement or intention
which saw one of the four dying feet
kick my heart away from their bones
But I like to believe, even now,
that there's a lesson here to be learned

Poetry from A Bar in Brooklyn by Shane Windham
E-book and paperback coming spring of 2017

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