the anatomy of compromise

By Arch and Breezeblock

             i am breathing volcanic love songs with paper-thin lips,
             charring my cheeks, my tongue, getting words wrong.

             they didn't give me a harp-
             or they did- only i broke it- 
            (but i think they made it out of pleasure on purpose). 
             now all the good deeds go to Him Next Door. 

             but He, gracious He with the self-affixed H, 
             as though he could weigh a scale down further than I, 
             (He forgets that the art of music is weightless)
             does not understand that you sleep on my shoulder. 

            and i, tiny as a thought and vast as an epiphany, 
            listened in when you were dreaming. 

            the human soul is a pursuit predator...
            i could almost admire the way you gave me red bones.
            it was hardier than His weightless lantern skeleton 
            and taffeta skin, silk-lined mouth, gold-upholstered tongue,
            as though He were a child's toy at Halloween,
            as though you were still a child. 

            you and He have plans. 
            i saw them, one night, when you dreamt.
            i stopped burning and sharpening the chips of my broken harp. 
            i stilled in my neathderthal, charcoal scratchings at the base of your skull.
            and i saw that thick, muffling sky spread like a whore's legs
            for your virtue.  
                              i saw it tighten
                              as you pulled it from the east
                              and west until the stars burned
                              through it like a midnight apocalypse
                              the thinnest veil in my universe,
                              the closest I will ever be.

              your traitorous form slid inside. 
              He pulled you through, and I was extinguished in a moment 
              without fanfare or protest or notice. 
              it was not freedom because i was not chained. i was only the chain. 
              one day, you dreamt of breaking me. 

              He smiles at you when you follow this road. 
              He even smiles at me as though I am a small child
              hanging behind my mothers skirts. 

              little does He know just how close i am to your neck.
              to your esophagus and nostrils and brain. 
              you are a pursuit predator,
              but i am a monster, 
              and you do not know me. neither does He.

              He does not understand that you sleep on the shoulder that i live on.
              He does not know
              that i don't have red bones,
              that i don't have paper skin,              
              that my metaphors are the anatomy of compromise. 
              but the truce was always broken, and i was not told.

hear this:

you sleep with your left side down
your heart pressed closer to me.
you sleep with your ear pressed to my mouth
your body inking me red with comprehension.
you are heavy, but your dreams are weightless.


                                            and you will hang before i die.


Unauthorized Copying Is Prohibited. Ask the author first.
Copyright 2015 Arch and Breezeblock
Published on Friday, July 24, 2015.     Filed under: "Poetry"

Author's Note:

the devil on your shoulder ain't pleased. i didn't mean for 'He' to mean God, so much as the devil-on-the-left-shoulder interpreting the angel-on-the-right-shoulder's righteousness as something to make fun of.
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Comments on "the anatomy of compromise"

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  • Cassette On Wednesday, December 27, 2017, Cassette (1241)By person wrote:

    whew... this was something else; spellbounding.

  • lupus tenebrae On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, lupus tenebrae (1028)By person wrote:

    A brilliant melding of concept and diction, it honestly rendered me speechless, almost spellbound. It's one of those pieces you keep at your bedside, to ponder on a rainy day, and I shall do just that. Scholar

  • Star On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, Star (1296)By person wrote:

    I want to hold you. absolutely incredible.

  • A former member wrote: the title is perfect. i feel like i'm trespassing, and all i have are my tears to offer.... you are incredible.

  • Arch and Breezeblock On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Arch and Breezeblock (76)By person wrote:

    you're never trespassing, thank you for all the positive commentary, you are very encouraging :)

  • A former member wrote: I liked this but the structure in the beginning took me off guard, but as I read it I really liked it. Thanks for sharing and please keep writing.

  • Arch and Breezeblock On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Arch and Breezeblock (76)By person wrote:

    i meddled with the structure a little, i hope it's a less jarring format now :)

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