An old acquaintance appears with-
out invitation, under the radar,
fastening invisible hands on heart
and throat – salvo in ongoing war.
Disorienting deja-vu says I’ve been here
before, but “here” is lost and adrift;
familiar faces somehow out of reach,
with utter otherness imbued.
Greet this friend, enemy – refuse to
fight in a contest that only can be lost;
give an inch and he’ll take a mile,
every resource necessarily exhaust.
Clichéd sweaty palms and pounding
heart capture it, but also cannot;
one moment holds agitation and distress,
a cup running over with panic,
residue of fight or flight in a world of
passing threats and impossible leisure,
quaking hands and restless eyes
bespeak a fear of life’s erasure.
A cross not taken up or chosen,
neither a path walked with intention;
only inarticulate hope this blackness
somehow shares his death, beaten;
a battle of inches and seconds remains,
strategies multiplying succeeding failing,
the adversary somehow best ignored.
Fight by laying down all weapons.