The Smith and the Devil

Holy landslides up to your neck,
     had my hand up the skirt of life then,
     when, by some ravenous unkindness,
     fury flourished into existence
     our ending our situation, since
     its beginning, had written,

by elegant and unforgiving
     hand bitten, as if our tomb’s
     fruit, once forbidden, could sweeten its
     kiss, or loosen death’s unrelenting
     grip, kicking my Self while licking your
     feet, reverent amid my

captivity, bound not by
     duty but indenture to honour
     our bargain your allure convinced me
     was worth handing over my soul for,
     this cellophane-wrapped simulacrum
     of love cracking under the

weighty breath of its heartbreak’s pretty
     packaging, suave marketing
     better off abandoned when dread truth
     sauntered in before your conjure’s teeth
     could devour my reason, before beasts
     sleeping together could feast

on my brain, lithe and lamb-like,
     trafficking in silk-lipped fantasies
     leonine vanity’s monstrous tooth
     and claw amused you by tearing through,
     nailing shut my coffin’s splintered lid,
     unruly wood I would split

if your offer had afforded my
     mortal bones the skill, the tools
     to pierce through skull to soul the ugly
     head of my power’s predatory
     creditor, my morally bankrupt
     president trepanation

more than assassination
     would cure of Fascism’s foothold, its cold
     congestion this affliction melding
     you things in league with troubles one to
     another, you devils among whom
     you are secretary and

chief counsel, prophet and hierophant,
     advocate and architect
     of my discontent, yet, somehow, an
     idiot, as well—having left in
     our contract a loophole, a detail
     you overlooked: words can kill.