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How Long will I Bleed
by Michelle Ian
06/16/07
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A thousand times
We’ve dance this dance
A harmless game
With verbal steel

Thrust, parry and thrust again
Wit and banter sharpen
Creative fire refining

But as always
You take the lead
I know this move too well

So with a sigh
I drop my guard
You land the final blow
The victory goes to you

… Again

Yet this thrust is different
The final strike you’ve changed
Shock and pain assaulting senses

I look to you for reason
I thought I knew the rules
I thought I knew my place

Your blade digs deeper
Piercing through open heart
To the foundations of my soul.

I stumble back in disbelief
For the sake of peace
You always win
How can I give you more?

Again your weapon rises
I know no other way
I drop my guard

Once more you bite too deep
Trust betrayed
Pain blinding
I stagger onward
Your blade my only compass
Twisting left then to right
Move with it to lessen its pain

As the smell of death engulfs
Deeper into your labyrinth I wind
What was me becomes transparent

I am finished.

No longer can my feet move
You poke, you snap, you snarl
My strength is gone

Eyes close, knees collapse
Silence, darkness beckons
I slip into their peaceful grasp

Then one breath
Another follows
In the darkness I feel an emptiness

Your blade is gone
I live on without it
My breath turns into a sigh

Slowly my eyes open
Rising on unsure legs
I survey my new surroundings

Paths

With your shadow gone
I see through your twisted corridors
Now I see the truth

Before me
Behind me
On every side

What once seemed dark
What once looked tangled
Now is a glow with freedom.


For a moment
My breath catches in my chest
Yes your scar remains

But my freedom beckons
So I run into its embrace

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