Friday, January 8, 2010


Shatter a pane at the point atop
the wall-clinging ivy stalk
strong enough to support my weight
for the time taken to climb
at a gait less than walking
above the west gate where
guards talk about their
family troubles and shallow caches
while I undo their ward's window latch
coming from a bar far-off to snatch
what my fence's middleman said awaited.

On tips of toes and hunched
I slowly step on carpets
costlier than my clothes
blowing darts in guard-pets
I wait for the sleeping poison
shipped from the river Poseidon
when the death-froth bubbles
on puppy's large lips
I know the way's cleared.

Humans surpassed and animals slain
I steal on with open tread
still I'm quite quiet so she
stays asleep unaware of me.
Too heavy to carry: the many baubles
which make her wealthy,
yet I look for one trinket only
and spy it glowing o'er yonder
and have to avert my eyes
lest the staring spell compel me.

In a sack which breathes
made for the task
seething with hatred at the light
eager to smother the sight
I stuff the unwatched tingle-in-hand
turning to cheerily be on my way.

Behind me upright sits the daughter
aware her tower's invaded
though I'm experienced in my craft
and would kill for a laugh
I hesitated and heard her say,
"stranger if you are a man
then I can not understand
yet now wonder...
yes surely your employer
lied to you of the item
by robbery in your possession"
straight standing I strode
and pressed 'gainst her robe
a knife and knicked her left lobe.
With composure unseen in some men
she let out not a whimper but grinned,
"up close I know you are a man
and so will return Eskrigan,
so long as it shines
the Dutla are confined
to beyond my father's borders"
inside I said to myself,
"kill her and follow your orders!"
but she'd cried for no help
and if I had dealt
the Dutla an aid
my debt'd need repaid.
She pointed at the window,
above a carpet cast with glass,
I dragged her along
warned she'd sing her swan-song
if this were a trick of her class.

Boldly she opened the frames
holding intact window panes
and pointed to the horizon
where we could see Bayon's Canyon.
At first I stared in darkness
and sensed something but saw naught
but slowly I noticed
winged shapes in the blackness
spreading from the canyon
like a pulsing cloud.
Horror hurt my heart
so even a frail's voice gave me start,
"before they kill my people
please release the symbol"
and feeling it right
by every gut I've survived by trusting
I tore at the bag.

It would not open
again I tried
to ply the threads
they sucked in
like turtle heads
and the mouth puckered
a kiss for a sucker
then in anger I stabbed
grabbing tight the bag
slashing and cutting
'til it bled and died
with a haunting outcry
then shriveled to a husk
ripped open untrussed
and flying out thrust

It flew above the tower
and made the land look as day
light dark light/dark lightdark
and with screeches miles distant
the Dutla became scant
and I saw she
was a beauty
past the pretties
I'd collected.

Next time it went dark
she ran from her room
I chased in the gloom
but from the stark variance
in luminance
was blinded
I couldn't find her
and she familiar
with her home
ran on ahead
then I was struck dead.

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