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Serpentine Line

photo: Laura Goodsell/Unsplash

A chaise longue
in a mauve drawing room,
cushions stuffed with straw,
firm as a milkmaid’s haunches,
your arm a cavalier,
lying in wait,
along a hollow branch
on field of faded brocade,
your dark dragoon shadow
slung across my stirrup saddle,
a foolhardy advance moving
in serpentine line.

Your helmet once golden,
now bandaged grey,
your breast-plate a munition’s
polished carapace fighting a dirty war, 
signed off by oblivion,
while heirloom legs give way 
to sudden recoil
and skirmishes of the flesh,
ignoring the rules of the game,
sow a regiment of regret 
into that wasteland of petals,
where love is never won
and all are fallen.