Swallowed

It was not her perfume, exquisite though it was
Neither was it her hair, the colour of a waking dream
Nor her lithe and slender body, mesmerising as a nymph
It was her eyes, always her eyes
Those light-consumptive orbs of splendour
Darker than the abyss and deeper than the pit
Blacker than black, as ink pooled in the night
In obsidian she saw me, and swallowed me whole

Nocturnal was her way, that of bat and fox
Ever cunning was she, crafty even
For their was no escaping her personal radar
Her wiles nor her will nor her want, if she wanted
In darkness she entrapped, constricted and constrained
Till my free will cried, Adieu
And my essence begged her for more
If it was mine, for doubt had manifested

Was I her plaything, her simple marionette
A puppet with its strings slashed, limping, lurching
Into a lightless, lifeless heap, gone unseen
Just a man in a mystery, though never his own
Staring into ebon midnights and praying for redemption
But never from the one he should have
Only ever from the one who willed it
Prepared to sacrifice his eyes, if still possessed

But when she came; what can I say
Those eyes shining through the aether
Like onyx moths to a heart once gold and gleaming
But not any more, never any more
And everything I’d ever thought or known
Everything I’d ever felt or imagined
Gave way in slack-jawed anticipation
Of being delivered, devoured, destroyed

And here it’s was, or is, or remains
The simple undiluted truth of her feasting
The reality she made, maintained and perfected
For me, just for me, or so she reminded
As there was a truth, my salient undoing
That demoness though she was, unruly child of Beelzebub
All she asked for was nothing, not a thing
The truth: I begged she take my soul

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Barbed Wire Kiss

This jagged smile she plays for fun

An indelicate balance tilted in her favour

Such an exact science, applied and described

Crimson painted, plum or sea blue

It matters not

Styled for the moment, smudged with a wave

Exposed is an exposure kindly received

Works both ways she says

And I believe her because she’s grinning

It can only be glee, can’t it?

Trap set, locked and straining

The night vibrates with palpable anticipation

She closes. We close. They close

The next stage of a plan planted

Grown in a place where the sun don’t shine

Tended with steel wool and polish

Scrubbed to angelic perfection

Just awaiting the clack of horizontal gates closed

Where glinting blinds

So eyes are closed

The chink of twinned metal resonates through my spine

Pull away, but I can’t

Free yourself, but I won’t

And she has me, as she’s had those many others

Those tin soldiers, smelted and melted

Reduced to puddles of oozing goop

Sucked through barbed wire lips

With a straw for a tongue

I’ve lost. She’s won. All over

But the night is long and I own pliers

So perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow

Sirens & Saviours

City049

She came at me through a smog of cigarette smoke, her hair a sea of pooling ebony, back to the door, sitting cross-legged on a bar stool. Her red dress, crimson like blood, had risen up to expose one virginal white garter — it hinted a subtle lie. She sipped on a bourbon empress of all, the eyes of the whole lousy bar upon her, both sexes, and a few I was unsure of. Decisions, decisions, I pondered, as my heart skipped a beat and lips grew dry.

The old man had one of those weathered faces contoured from a life hard fought and often lost. I caught him out of the corner of my eye sat to one side, unassuming like a garden gnome that had always happened to be there. We locked eyes for a moment, nothing more, but long enough for me to see his pinky finger waggle a warning: don’t do it, son, you’ll end up like me. I turned tail and ran.

He saved me from that liquor-downing siren. He granted me a freedom he’d never attained. And for an instant, I even felt sorry for him as I inhaled a deep breath of backstreet air, but not for long.

Behind the Veil

The veil did nothing to hide her allure. She peeped out from a four-by-one slash in the fabric of time and blotted out the universe with those eyes. When she blinked, my heart stopped. When those lashes of Egyptian rushes swept open, my heart leapt back into life. She controlled me without ever even knowing it, moved me without ever saying a word.

In a slow-moving blur of delicate silks, she slipped from market stall to market stall, whilst I kept pace by stalking the shadows. I needed the shade, was desperate for it, whilst she like the dusky rose she was just bloomed. The glaring sun was hers to wield, a necessary illumination like a ballerina on centre stage. Even in the bazaar sand, she barely stirred the dust. I marvelled at her grace.

I followed without a clue where she led. Out of the market and the hordes of humanity she breezed like a sirocco wind, down one of the white side streets that all looked the same and then another and another and another. She navigated the warren with the assuredness of Polo the Silk Road, me following as though on a string. When at last she came to a door of simple, unadorned white, noticeable against the stonework by less than a hairsbreadth of oval shade and raised her hand, I almost died. As her cuffs fell back to reveal cinnamon skin and nails of cerulean blue, I saw Allah had gifted her with more than just eyes to enthral Pharaohs. I had to make my move.

I slipped from the shadows like a spectre from the night. She turned, bowed low, and stepped aside. The three giants who leapt from the doorway deserved their prize. They took it, too.

My vanity in thinking her not only available, but mine, cost me everything I possessed and a little I never knew I owned. The eyes of the woman behind the veil might have captured my soul, but the men she served owned it. Another European made a slave through sin, I often told the others she wasn’t worth it. I lied.

Have / Have Not

Authors Note: Just a little sample from a work in progress.

"I have seen the stars and the wonders of a billion, billion galaxies. I have seen the birth of beginnings and the death of the end, the two forces that control us in their endless dance. In that place where light and darkness sweep each other away in opposing comforts, I have seen that which no other can imagine. Yet, in all of these miracles and more, I have never seen such as you. I have are two words spoken with ease, two I have used too readily, but until you, my love, I have never known have not."

Undeniable

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There was an undeniable truth to the fact she was a killer. Her eyes spoke of it, smile suggested it, and as for her figure, well… yum. She was everything a spark ignited, everything that made a dark dream dire. Her allure offset her demon. Her magnificence demanded respect. She was a little boy’s nightmare and a grown man’s fantasy, all this and more. Yet like all mysteries wrapped in purple, silk bows, she required exploring. What was the point in excess if one couldn’t partake of it? What was the point in deliverance if one had never needed delivering? I partook, she delivered. I lost, she won.

Black Satin

The night drips around me in liquid satin, a perfect black. I can taste its velvety texture, hear its thrumming silence, sense the still. The pause before the final breath, the hush before the breaking storm, darkness slips its fingers around my throat and squeezes with the subtle kindness of a misplaced love. I am choking. I want more.

Waking to dust mites caught in a single beam of gold, I wave the day away. Take me back, I whisper. Let me go. But the sun will not relinquish me; it never does. I pull up the covers and wait.

When you arrive all bloodshot eyes and scimitar smile, the darkness comes with you. This is your world, your eternity, and as I reveal the outline of my eager neck, I dream of it being mine too. I wait. You nod. It is.