I thought I said we weren’t going here again –

gunpowder mornings sat creaking
in the electrifying chair through which
are executed static ballets
ballads of radio hash
a requiem of loose ends that never quite
made it off the tip of your tongue

hooftreads in the ceiling
chopping block
ritual axe
sanctuary at the summit
raising snakes through history
to hysteron to hysteria and beyond
baiting the bull with a toothpick
and a cocktail napkin

I thought we said you wouldn’t ask –
one more bad guy to take you to task
to echo the eternally disappointed
internal disciplinarian
to wind in the blade
to blunt the ball of string

I thought you promised to keep yourself safe –
I think you must have confused me with a body else,
as must I – as long as one hand holds it,
this cup drinks the Reaper’s health
this lip stays bit
this island remains buoyant


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