I named it

Put horns on it

And filed its teeth down till their points twinkled like dead stars.

Then it flew around the room

its tongue lolling between its jaws

Like matins

And I could tell it was exhausted

Close as a kiss

Its breath suddenly sour

From a length of bad habits

And deep draughts cluttered and brittle

With the dregs of empire.

That’s when I filled

An empty shotgun shell

With teardrops and dragged it out

Behind the barn

There to put one of us out of their respective misery.

On the way we tripped over a prostrate poet

Waiting for a trickle of his own tears to freeze

Idly building a tiny drawbridge

Out of toothpicks and sonnets.


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