I sat on the razor edge blade of the sword,
neither soft nor hard completely,
but tender-loined and steel-boned,
I would have laid my neck there to rest,
Knowing you’d sever me right through.
Or was I saying I had left you gasping at the alter –
bulging eyes no longer believing,
finally, appraising your enormous sacrifice.
You were beholden unto the wielded sword,
and this is how I did it.
Ushered you to the throne at the behest of my thirst,
An ironed-out heart,
Gleaming as water,
as blood in the dark,
Daring you to gulp,
Expose your weakness, lower your head.
But what happens to me now…
When I’m met unflinchingly,
neither weak of praise or fault –
Joseph S. Pete is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Lisagor Award winner who lives outside Chicago and served as an infantryman in Iraq.