I will not dine on my own bones

Do not wound me because you wound yourself
with delusions and paranoia,
building straw multiverses
that orbit an oversized ego

where you are the only permitted victim,
where those who reveal your lies are liars,
those who uncover your crimes are criminals.

Rants weave imagined enemies
from the threads of unraveled dreams,
cast revenge as lure for the disillusioned
who see only a house of candy
and ignore the vat boiling.

Sweetened poison seeps
into unsuspecting minds:
Come to me, it bewitches,
and do as you please.
Fulfill your deepest desires
with the marrow of your neighbors’ bones.
No one deserves it more than you,
as long as you remain mine.

But I cannot be yours.
I cannot live
in your Daliesque landscape,
nor be your Hansel or Gretel.

In your blood stained hands,
hands you believe cleansed
by the cheers of your sycophants,
I see the pained eyes
of those you would devour,
as if in a mirror,
for they are me.


Note: The first line of this poem (italicized above) is the final line of the poem “The Well” by Pablo Neruda.

©2023 Kenneth W. Arthur