Last Pound of Flesh

I have gone hungry already,
and I will go hungry again
because you thieved from me,
wrapping what you took
in juicy lies
that you thickly
layered on me and then them,
but mostly on you,
buttering them up,
so you could stand
to eat them yourself.

And now, you are getting the
last pound of flesh
you can take from me.

I tape it shut
in bloody butcher paper
as I am forced to let you
stop by one last time,
coldly sauntering up
to snatch it
off my nearly empty counter,
as if it were nothing other
than your given right
to thieve my last morsel
without paying a shekel of due.

All your curdled
self-loathing
projected toward me,
contorting the truth
so it looks like my fault
you’ve stolen from me,
as if to convince
I should starve.

It is just as well;
My mouth is too dry to eat
and my lips are sealed shut,
clamped down in
a teeth-grinding grimace,
my gut churning
with anger and ache.

I lose my appetite
as I remember those meals
when my foolish heart
gorged on misplaced fatty trust
and sugar-rot love.

By time I discovered
your poisonous lies,
you’d helped yourself
to so much
I had little left
to protect me,
so your hatred-sharp blade
forced me to
cut off some more.

And now, here I am,
hoping I don’t see you,
as you snatch away
that last heavy pound.

I have gone hungry already,
and I will go hungry again,
but my gut wants to live
through this moment.

So I insistently whisper
that this is the ransom
I have to pay for my freedom
and no matter how bloody,
it must be done.

And then I stand up,
and I push myself forward.

I cut off that last
pound of flesh,
what else can I do?
And I lay it out
so you can take it
from me.

And then I gather
the strength I have left,
and I cut my ties to you, too,
a ruinous thief escaping
into a dark night of lies
greedily devouring
his ill-gotten treasure.

And once you’ve taken
my last pound of flesh
leaving a severed mess
in your wake,
even though I am tired
and trying to calm my empty gut,
it will finally be quiet
so I can rest here alone.

I have gone hungry already,
and I will go hungry again.
But healing will come
and I will grow back
all you’ve taken from me.

And when I have recovered
from this bitter end to it all
I will rise up
to dine in the sweet peace
of my freedom,
this last pound of flesh
a ransom I went hungry to pay,
worth it to reclaim
my appetite for life.

~ 2013.10.12

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2 Responses to Last Pound of Flesh

  1. Morine says:

    I hate that the last pound of flesh is being stolen from you. I hate it. Isn’t enough enough? But your strength and determination will prevail so you can once again revel in your freedom, knowing that paying the ransom, no matter how bloody, will have been worth the ugly price.

  2. Steve says:

    Such a high price to pay! I am glad you did & it’s over now. Your healing begins but you will recover. There’ll be a scar & memories but they’ll be in your past. The future is yours to make as you will stand up & smile & do what you want. Happiness is yours to see as you want through the eye of a camera or whatever makes you smile. Keep smiling CJ it looks good on you. that war is over.

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