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Bright Curiosity, of virtues king
Bright Curiosity, of virtues king,
in silence sits with cushions all around
upon which lie the small and simple things
that virtue Patience, strolling through her grounds,
selected with her sister, Judgment sound,
to then display alongside these: the knives
of Doubt, and one of Anger’s little hounds,
Love’s silk, the gems that Cunning brought in fives,
and more, so that the king might study, strive,
and plan to summon on a vital quest
the serpent Creativity, who dives
from factions’ hold, no virtue at its best,
no vice though also seen in darkest hives.
Long may he ride that mercenary beast,
and hunt for Princess Wonder’s nightly feast.
Behind my kindness there is violence
Behind my kindness there is violence,
a vengeance heavens-born and Earthways jailed
as some celestial judge’s recompense
for my own earnest crime or duties failed.
The bone within my outstretched hand is wrought
of iron care in dagger form, each blade
a scalpel to remove the sad throat’s knot,
or else into a quagmire plunge a spade.
My deepest furnace burns for those I love,
and by the thousand turns out weapons bright
that shatter doubt and darkness with each shove,
or clasp, on injured drifters, shackles tight.
Within my heavy work lies no appeal
but that the fist within my heart might peel.
No doubt, I have a sense of what I’ve got alone.
No joyride, but I can accept my lot alone.
My food, my music, all my tastes are king.
You see, I only choose what hits the spot alone.
And money, sure, whatever I can get,
I hold the chips and never split the pot alone.
My evil, most of all, is free. So what?
No fruit will fall and bruise if I just rot alone.
I’m shaking, but not cold. My breath is caught.
I understand. I know the man I’m not, alone.
Yes, there’s hard work, but none of it’s a chore in love.
Yes, there are rules, but there’s no keeping score in love.
Our hands are tied—like riggings strong and true.
Good wind, and every ocean to explore in love.
With empty pockets, fortunes, or what else
we find each other gifts. We’re never poor in love.
She gives me all good things, and only asks
I linger, just a moment, at the door, in love.
We breathe and know just who this breath is for.
We quiver with the strength that we restore in love.
Sean Mabry writes literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, horror, essays, and poetry. His work has been published in lipstickparty magazine, Into the Teeth of the Wind, Spectrum, Chantwood Magazine, and The Catalyst. He holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also reads tarot cards. You can find more of his work at www.seanmabry.com.