My mistress’s eyes remain downcast as I
refill her glass. The slight comforts she finds
in me catch in my throat like cricket legs
as she relates the barbs of shallow minds.
Unlike the caryatid, she has not flesh
of marble, nor malice cut from jigsaw mesh
to deflect woe, nor my temper that whips
like harsh wind in the sails of storm-doomed ships.
If I, like her, did not fear fate’s digest
and welcomed thorns and thrones alike, methinks
I would not quench her thirst more than the drinks
I pour, nor quell the fire in her fair breast.
It’s best I remain with her desires wrung
from the ruins she finds my treasures among.
- The Scales (of Justice)
- Another Inch