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This Should Be a Lovesong But Isn't

This Should Be A Lovesong But Isn't
By Alexandra Seidel

It is better to have loved, truly loved,
just once than...

Oh, Cupid,
shut your mouth. There are
no bones beneath the skin of these words,
no substance
to give flavor
to this wine. You
use arrows, Cupid, arrows,
and I don't want the scars.

Cupid hides his quiver, hides his bow.

She moves silver pieces on a chessboard,
counts the black squares and the white ones;
a huntress would cry tears for her,
a huntress
would send out her dogs
but she
believes as much in the huntress
as she believes in the arrowboy.

He who plays the game with her
is not sure he knows all the rules
and so
a scytheworth of the twilight pieces

You know, Cupid, gravity.
is cool.
It is
and as strong as the mass that makes it.
What the hell is love to this?
You don't fall victim to those arrows of yours
and go
I feel you suck me blackholestrong,
feel you pull my orbits tight
feel you strip
from within my very bones,
The arrow hits and you go
my heart is light as nothing
and I fly like a cloud of pink dreams.

Save it, Cupid, keep your godsforsaken arrows
because I
need to be pulled
and not made fly.

a little girl was looking at the stars.
Princely these stars, thought the girl,
and the stars thought

The stars
they ran (from her) as quick as thought,
they fell
and falling scorched the sky.

The girl looked up and cracked her neck
and burned her eyes
with fallstar fire.

The stars (it must be said)
and so did the girl
and there was happiness in some everafter
but that has nothing to do at all

She has this way
of cocking her head
when the chess pieces fall, and he
does not see the cue in it.

Oh, there is a passion in the game, there is;
but it is a beast with two heads
but it is solitary and cold
but it is kept and guarded like dragon hoard
but it is raw, bleeds,
smells of hurt like last week's dinner.

Cupid shuffles his feet in the background.
He looks at the woman
(and oh! these eyes!)
scratches his head
(and oh! his head!)
and pulls close his quiver
to check the arrows with poisonhead,
counts them, counts again.

cannot see the scar
but feels it blackholeheavy
and yet
no arrow's missing.

Cupid, listen.
The good times go
like falling stars,
it's kinduva been there/done that thing.

I will not fly.
I will not bare my heart
for your targetpractice bowsnap, no.

Sure, I'll play
but this is just a game
and games are ended
with tumbling kings
and queens
who guard their hearts with blades.

I will stand
in this my center of the universe.

down with the bow.

O, this toughcookie lady.
Enough smack
to make me hold my ears,
enough wit
to make me doubt my arrowsmartness.

Enough there
to make me think my wings
of little use.

Go to the wild, run in the forest and hunt,
I would normally say,
but not everyone's born a huntress.

I would scar her heart with tenderness
but close to her
the fletchings break apart,
no wind, no thought
that would carry my arrows straight;

they are pulled
and I
can't pull them back.

She and he combine chess
with midsummer wine,
sweet enough to drown a king.

Cupid is in the shadows, cursing
(and oh! his voice!)
with unseemly words
(but still! so sweet!)

His bow's unstrung,
his arrows unfletched and he
in doubt of his glorious godship.

Oh, pick up your arrows
silly god!
Move on, it's what the rest of us do,
like you didn't know.

I'm good with the chess board, see,
the pieces are already reset.
It is okay, it really is.

I do have this orbit of me
this orbithome to call my own.

It is okay, it really is,
you can restring your bow
and move on to pastures
greener, say,
and more abundant with the googlyeyed.

Cupid, listen, theresagoodgod;
Cupid, listen, listen well:
we each and all can learn to fly
but to be pulled, that's the damnedest thing
that learn we can't.

* * *

Alexandra Seidel likes writing scary stories and poems. Incidentally, she also likes writing funny stories and poems; in the grander concept of things, that surely makes sense. Alexandra’s scary and/or funny writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Lackington's, Goblin Fruit and others. If you are so inclined you can follow Alexa on Twitter (@Alexa_Seidel) or read her blog:

What do you think is the most important aspect of a fantasy poem?

Just like any other poem, it should resonate with the reader on an emotional level. I do think that language should be used beautifully in a poem, that the poem should be made beautiful by the writing even if the subject matter is dark. Ultimately, finding beauty in language is what makes poetry an art form.