Fool Me Once …

Duet Declined

Agape in terror
she spins, arms straight forward.
Hands grip hard upon hilt,
sword seeing
for eyes long dead.

He stands
outside the circle of her swath,
steel hollowing out the air.

Once he stepped,
arms wide for embrace,
to the blade,
driven forward—
caress of cold metal
shivering through his blood
and bones—
as if any touch
would suffice
for love.


39 thoughts on “Fool Me Once …

  1. I guess the key line for me was “eyes long dead” because there is much that can kill a woman’s spark and it’s painful for the man who loves her as it seems he is walking into a sword. Spare and well written here. Gay @beachanny

  2. This reminded me for some reason of Rashomon, where the various parties fight to take or defend a lady’s favors with swords, even the lady…though I think your poem tells a different tale, I recall the man died there as well.

  3. Just realized I’m always saying your poems remind me of things; that isn’t because they are at all derivative, but because they have such universal archetypes so subtly studded amongst the compressed phrases. (Trying to say your style and thoughts are very much your own and quite unique.)

  4. I have to say it: Love is a battlefield.

    Well, now that I feel a little dirtied, let me continue and say, nice little description of the duel that is the circle-dance of lust and love…and its end.

  5. That’s when you don’t ask the girl for a late night rendezvous

    cleverly mastered
    romance – at the end a point

    Thanks for sharing with One Shot
    Moon Smiles

  6. This is a remarkable poem…sparse, sparing, delightful.

    With great emotional resonance.

    As a former fencer, I took great pleasure in reading this poem.

    Good one shot!

    Lady Nyo

  7. the sword is a fantastic symbol here in the arena of love, between lovers or otherwise…enjoyed it very much thank you…bkm

  8. I get it…I think! Lots of different views on the sword though I’m kinda seeing it like her free will and she’s baring it up. But that’s me I see things where there aren’t things sometimes ❤

  9. Ok, try two!

    Matt, can you back this one up for me a little? To the part when he pulled heart drenched sword out and learned to staunch the flow of life and love to stand once again apart?

    Um, just interested for a friend… 🙂

  10. The dust seems to have settled on this one.

    A wise person once told me, “never try to hug a blind woman swinging a sword,” meaning don’t try to get comfort from someone who is too hurt, wounded, damaged, angry, afraid in life to actually give love.

    There are times when I’ve been the person with the sword and times I have been the person trying to get the hug.

    For me the best healing from this kind of situation is to recognize it for what it is/was and that way neither person is seen as pure villain or pure victim, but people too damaged by life to function in a way that is healthy either for the self or others.

    I accept responsibility for my side of the street, apologize to those I’ve harmed, and go on with life the best I can.

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