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Est Amère

Est Amère
by Lena Judith Drake

Est Amere


He always knew the man
was a thief. La patience est amère, patience is bitter,
and its fruit is naught;

unsurprisingly, the space inside himself is empty,
stolen away.
Proverbial pockets picked, robbed of dignity,
the handcuffs of cord cut
into his hands, his fingers twitch
with righteous murder come undone and corked closed.
Stateliness gone,
because the half-man has triumphed.
Seemliness gone,
because his own breath is too quick,
he wants to plead but cannot,
and feels creeping admiration.

There, he sees in profile, is a man who has outwitted even Him,
has outwitted the sharp, aquiline features of Justice.
That is something to be esteemed; he feels it hard.
This burglar will kill him,
now, and be done with it; there have been years wasted,
integrity crushed under dirty, holed boot soles.
He hears the rusty knife,
hears death coming forward with dripping mouth,
revenge triumphing true—

"You are free."
What? What? His hands flounder without bindings,
so he flees and weights himself.
The thief's eyes were blue and God.
Even thieves can be fastidious, choosing the salable goods:
certainty and righteousness and duty and fearlessness.
Those taken from him,
the thief throws back the rotting waste: a life.
Flush it in the ocean.
He wanted to kill the man, it was his obligation.
He wants to thank the man, the devil, and touch the arms,
and there is only disgust with himself.

The inhalation of water is like spines in his hollowness. It hurts,
but only just.

* * *


Lena Judith Drake is the editor-in-chief of Breadcrumb Scabs magazine, as well as a Creative Writing student at Grand Valley State University. She is Puerto Rican, a geek, and a feminist activist.

Where do you get the ideas for your work?

The ideas for her work ultimately stem from her day-to-day life and an attempt to express it honestly, whether through autobiographical poetry, or completely fictionalized scenarios. After all, even fantasy needs a basis in real emotion.

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