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by Janet Leister
Our dance stilted,
we stumble over unseen obstacles
gilt ghosts in the gallery reminding us
of all the reasons why
you and I cannot be
I saw her with you,
unaware of your soul's betrayal,
oblivious to our soaring hearts.
Does she know, does she care?
Or are you merely her mask
donned for public occasions?
My own ghost hovers nearby
watching for the slightest crack
in his wall of possession
He imagines my infidelity under every shadow,
behind every passing glance.
How can he now fail to see
my divided loyalties, and your
stalwart adoration of his chattel?
Lost in creating their own worlds, I suppose,
they have allowed us ours, if only
of ink, paper, words
you call our love pure
but Eros and Agapé struggle anew
and I fear the outcome is known:
brief passion, bodies wet and sated,
lives broken and bleeding,
the detritus of our weakness
the price of bliss
I think you were blinded
by the last westering rays on my locket
through the haze I see it so clearly
as we dance again in dreams
you kiss my hand and bow deeply
your poet's mask my undoing
yet knowing, I surrender