Ballad of Love Antique

To be vulnerable is to ask for contest,                   

beg for Violence with its mate, Death,                  

to invite them inside for tea and biscuit.               


While Violence is gratuitous and warm-mannered,         

Death is patient and wise.                                           

Together they function so well                                 

that it comes as a surprise:                 


How could one so warm find one so cold?                           

Clearly there is more to romance;                              

How could one so young love one so old?                           

more than common hypnotic trance;       


What a beautiful thing that is                                     

when two love each other so–                                    

so earnest and so unabashed–                 

to see old lovers grow.                    


As they sit inside my house,                                       

munching crackers and brie,                      

I invite them to talk with me                                      

about the things that they have seen:      


“Today,” says Death, calm and aloof,                     

“I saw a woman cry.                                                       

She claimed I took a life away,                             

but she had not yet even died”    


“Ha!” chortled Violence,                                              

rubicund and ripe,                                                          

“I saw that woman last night                                      

in the strangest light!”                


“She wanted to seek money,

love, romance, and child,

but when she told her lover,

he shamelessly tasted bile.”


“He packed and bought a plane ticket–

somewhere beyond the Nile–

and when she found it,

lying askance on the tiles,”


“she called up her mother,

gushed forth, and burst her eye,

and when she was through with her

she called me up to cry:”


“‘I never did him wrong!

 I would never even try!

 How, When, Where, Why?

 Won’t I surely die?'”


“This foolish child I assured,

to the best of my ability,

that her love was simply found

by another amenity;”


“that to mourn him was a waste,

as that should have already been done,

by the time she intercepts him

the process has fully run.”


“I visited her that night,

alone in her bed,

as she spoke softly

and thought of things she said”


“In hot blood I soothed her

made her skin lacrimate

until in gentle passion

she began to gestate”


“This child she bears still,

round emotional avarice,

and she thinks of me still

when she feels herself pregnant”


Violence smiled a silly grin,

evoking his youthful charm,

and he proceeded briefly again,

as he tends to go on:


“You know I met the man too,

once long ago,

back when the two began,

he put on quite a show.”


“He had persuaded me to accompany him

to Italy and Germany

to charm this woman, a girl then,

into sweeter seductivities”


“I followed him for some time,

allowing him my hurl,                   

for when he found a mate he sought

he would display our rigmarole:”


“I simply tossed him in the air

and with great gravitas

he descended sharply, screaming,

‘Please help, without which I am lost!'”


“Reliably this show would succeed

in driving away the crowd;

should the mate remain

he would chase her off with sound.”


“We enjoyed this activity much,

back in our oatsy youth,

but soon, he said, we’d ‘settle down’

and seek subtler pursuits”


“At last, in Munich, we did just that

when this woman (then girl) we did meet

and she, blithely, did not abscond

from our death-defying feat”


“So like fire he came and tore her up

espoused love so vehement and violent

and in this capacity he rendered her weak,

tractable, malleable, and pliant”


“Together we forged a mighty weapon,

something to be abhorred,

but these were my younger days

and, as such, I found myself bored”


“Leaving the two of them,” Violence huffed,

his voice now strangely quiet,

“I set out to Österreich on my own

puzzled and defiant”


Violence paused, drank his tea,

and turned to his gentle muse,

they shared a smile and Death,

now rubbing his feet, kissed his toes.


“Regardless, and to conclude,”

shouted Violence with final resolve,

“I believe they got on quite well,

employing that trick we evolved.”


All us three sat back into our chairs,

recalling fond memories and curious repairs,

but Death not once again spoke, so humble and kind,

but, upon parting, whispered meekly, inclined:


“I appreciate your hospitality; you have been most sincere,

for I travel much and have a broad ear,

but to spend an evening here is my favorite repose,

for when I wake in the morning I do not even change my clothes”

Leave a Reply