Shining Shields / Severance

by Shaun Terry

Look at us – each scarred and scared.

Strangers self-consciously smile at each other;
they embrace one another’s hands,
beaming barely-audible whispers at each other,
with all the false bravado
of sheep in a den lined with Komodo dragons.

They present in pristine riot gear,
covered in spikes, perfectly-lain layers of armor.
Each anxiously lounges, with a quivering finger at the ready,
waiting to pull the pin from the rage-grenade;
a weapon of mass delusion,
ready to release a deluge of enthusiastic convolutions.

But that riot gear’ll get you murdered, some day.

She told me,
“You’re not going to provoke an emotional reaction of any kind from me.”
So what, my sweet, sweet love,
do you so wisely call this, then?
And what could you have so sweetly said,
with a voice of litheness and lace,
that could have possibly been any more violent?

How could any sage or layman ever blame you,
even if you’re being such a foolish fool?

Every one sacred,
each flawlessly imperfect, invaluable, and limitless,
occupying infinite space.