Giving Ground

I.

The air was cement
in the afternoon sun

I counted the stains
on the upholstery
on the backs of chairs
until The Law walked in

I was brighter then
I am warmer now


II.

At Eleven O’Clock
the pain set in

I clutched your thigh
through gritted teeth

I’d heard what you said
I never heard you say a word


III.

The Law was restless
pistol hand on grip

I tried to keep my eyes down
as her visage shook my soul

The air in my throat
grew thicker still


IV.

There were just us three,
two tables and a pistol between

You stood to leave with elegance
as I floundered, chair to floor

I spat your name as the door swung


V.

The Law saw my despair
and her pistol hand was mercy;

She shot me twice

and waited

for the light in my eyes to go out

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Three Remain

I – The Work of Faith

Yes. I have seen the cosmos.
The drudgery of crafting constellations
The slightest sleight of hand
Tipping moons and meteors into orbit.
Mundane as discarded fingernails.
But do not worry,
This monotony prepares a place for you.
Believe I am returning.

II – The Patience of Hope

Does my busywork fail to marvel you?
Messengers will speak my witness.
The solution is promised, but are you listening?
Mirrors cannot be convicted of perjury,
But their sentencing is always transparent.
See where the intercessor must stand?
Hold on.
I am sending one greater.

III – The Labor of Love

But of all these things, do you love me?
The ocean is vast, and waiting.
Let us set sail, and cast our nets to the other side.
Breath deep.
Drown, won’t you, in this ocean I have made for you?
I have tasted the sands upon the shore of hell
It was while you were yet cursed, I died for you.
I have returned.

I am.