He was given a truckload of paladins.
They hung around like a half-finished novel
asking for his pointed, incoherent opinions.
“Our oldest stories are like our newest,” someone
said before dumping all the men on him—
a needless comparison that he couldn’t
wend his way through.
Stuck with the immortals, unable to keep up,
he wished they’d go full storybook and
metamorphose into a dragon or cat, or a friend
he could actually confide in.
She rings with winter like ears after a long day,
raises oranges and kumquats
in her chorus of clouds.
She keeps dregs of dead
leaves suspended in her puddles.
“My queen, my psychopomp, why’d
you assemble this before me?” they ask
while stuck between history and a dark place.
She replies with her copper fingernails down their belly.
They’re tired of the cold and carnal and
they keep repeating, “My queen, my death,
my hunger, my queen, why’d you assemble
this before me?”
Of course he loved her, much in the way he loved
fields and cows and hot breakfast. And he loved
the chill even more. White lichen wave gnarled
the men all over, maybe daunted his skin
as the sea’s horses broke the beach. He felt
cold arms, almost dead to his touch and she
drowned in the mulled wine of it. Was he in a
grove, was he in the sea? She forgot. Spat out
into the water by an accordioned hut. She frothed
the darkness into his gray. They forgot.
Judge Doom cartoon eyeballs at what he's doing—
as if his body and brain are from different dimensions.
I keep wanting to empathize and there isn't really any need for me to do so.
What an image to keep in your dining room
when father talks to son about what he's done.