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  • The lid is heavy
    for a thing so light.
    Who'd have known
    it would require
    so dark a heart
    and wounded might,
    such strength of will,
    or seething ire
    to break apart its pretty seal?

    Who'd have guessed
    my hands would shake
    and skin perspire?
    A sweaty grip,
    and shortened breath,
    a cloying ache
    a bladder tight,
    trembling lips
    mashed together, turning white.

    No trudging doom
    or looming doubt,
    no warning bells
    or panic cries
    could pry me from
    my plotted route.
    No qualms of sin
    or grim demise
    could prevent me jumping in.

    The air is fetid,
    a rotting sea.
    Who could breathe
    an air so thick
    with foul regret?
    A noxious breeze
    like rotting blood
    that leaves me sick,
    just the way I knew it would.

    And roiling up
    on waves of bile
    uncoiled my queen,
    my gluttonous host,
    with snapping maw
    and grin most vile
    of wicked teeth,
    she rasped a toast,
    then crooked a nail to beckon me.

    I knew the rote,
    familiar game,
    her pounce a fierce,
    malefic need
    to crunch my fear
    and slurp my shame.
    On pride and hate
    she ached to feed.
    I threw myself upon her plate.

    And dine she did
    on tepid lust
    and cold despair.
    A feckless will
    she gobbled up
    like nibbled crust
    or well-gnawed bone.
    A hearty meal,
    now scraps, into the dregs I'm thrown.

    On tranquil shores
    I wash anew,
    on purging tide
    resolve reborn,
    with posture scrubbed
    and chastened view,
    absolved from wrath,
    a promise sworn
    to stay forever from this path.

    My nerves are steady,
    my eyes contrite.
    The feral thoughts
    now brought to bay
    are bound and gagged
    and trussed up tight,
    to lie in wait,
    some future day
    I'll claw once more at her gate.
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