Poem #2

Circles and Spirals

If my reasons were opaque
Hers were just insane – or maybe it was the other way around
I’d slipped through the cordon to find her
Sitting on the altar as if carved flesh
As if she belonged

The east was unburned;
The west awaited only robbery
She sat impassive in the shadow of the broken tower
Open to a dying sun
She looked to me; said she’d set the fire
Set free her ghosts

I watched in silence. I stood and listened
As the stonework trembled beneath her lies
Asking a stranger to carve her open
A sacrifice to her demons: something to make her feel
But I was only there for myself

Only ever for myself
I needed something, I think, to make me whole
To turn a circle to a spiral
And she saw an echo in me – or maybe it was just the danger
Or the grip of ash and smoke

But that no longer matters.
She left me then and forever, and still I was chained
Locked in to these repeats
No stigmata but those echoes
They nail me, nail me down hard

So I returned that night with tinder, with oil for the east
– Never an unstolen move
Never an original line –
As if I’d ever known free will
As if, as if
It could ever be me upon that altar

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