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264th Weekly Poetry Contest honorable mention: Ajax Redux

by Bruce Boston

Ajax Redux
by Bruce Boston and Marge Simon

I live in a land of icy mirth
and explicit premise.
I'm starving but I don't hunger
for your glittering glory.

You are no better than Troy,
trading gold for flesh,
lives for legends, blood
for beauty, always fighting
the ever war, the last rape.
Even death is not enough
to put an end to it.

You bring soldiers wrapped
in linen and thick red noise,
the tail feathers of black swans.

You carry all the bizarre debris
of your exotic rampage
through the annals of myth.

The sun on the dial sends
its dicrotic whisper
across the square --
lyres and silk arras,
stolen armor and lies,  
a necklace of blue gems
about a columnar throat,
stone facades etched
in bas-relief by
the forced accents
of your applause.

Be careful who you follow
into the ruins that
line the ancient city;
I've died a hundred times
beneath its walls
to preserve my honor.

Beware the bite
of the old dog
who welcomes you home.

Appeared in Strange Horizons

264th Weekly Poetry Contest