Thursday, May 30, 2019

PRECIOUS

Every time I said I loved you
was an interest payment
on the truth.

When I told you I needed you
I meant it
as an investment

and investments need protecting.
Every pet name I invented
every darling sweetheart precious

was a password on the account.
And when I'd wax poetic
list all the itty-bitty things I would do

that was me dumping you
out on a table
counting you up like a cartoonish

miser, like a giddy Ebeneezer Scrooge
would do. The sentiment sounded pure.
The aim looked true. The intention

was good—or so I assumed—
as all the gold in the Pharaohs'
airless tombs.

All those times
I'd talk with you, so eager to know
what you'd been up to—

when I held you close
at night and whispered—
when I thundered and roared

like a dragon in a cavern
fiercely guarding
treasures he could never use—

that was me letting you
know I would do
whatever it took

to always be with you.
I was even willing to live all alone
blind as a golem in an

underground cistern
content to bash the brains of fish
against stalagmites every night

for my dinner—if only
I could keep you. I didn't see
how I could lose.

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