The first time that morning, your face stole
from rasps lanterned: chariot of sun
racing gold in the glare of rays, shaking
patterns meant for your wing-tipped hull. Here,
the slept lion in my peer through forest's wrench
when woken. Your men slick with spear grease
and battle have mangled my wounds; bouquet to bruise.
So much for a lover’s touch in dropped shards
of rain, so much for laughter at a lorikeet’s prattle
when tender struck vulpine on skin. For you, the hiss
of curves. I stood there under your shadow. Proud
with breaths clinched of mist. For you, the whiting swan
of heart, ever pure. Never tell I must inveigle if I am to procure
only woes, only brutes of my own; for the seraph
that I was before rabid; trapped with fangs feisty.
Once I loved past fathoms, past feral.
Once and for all, you had me damned darkling, childless—
bedtimed like the forever stiffness of a corpse.