Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bow Down by Derrick Austin

Bow Down

Let us talk of…what then—
are we that silent moment on the stage
when kings are out of rules and fools of puns?
Remember crossing the bridges by the sea,
you a stranger here, asking
the name of the tree ruffled with purple?


It was knowledge, a kind of lording
over another, as when sunning at a pool,
you dipped one leg in the water.
As if you were given all its crowns.


Before you drifted into my life—waiting
in the wings—I said no to so much.
Nudging me, you said, Please
put it in your mouth. You do this to me.


Kings wait to see who will kneel.
I’ve forgotten my line. Is this when I
abdicate the throne or bruise you
with my scepter?
                                 I beg
your pardon. I would resign the crown
a thousand times to kneel at your feet.
What kind of king am I? I’m just as lost as you.


Drifter, stardust, little marsh-light,
you are known by so many names:
Bassanio, Gaveston…
                                         Try a new skin:
friar, courtier, dominance,
submission—it’s all foreplay, roleplay.
We bow. The curtain falls. Another night.

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