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Counter-Amores 1.3

All's Fair

All's fair; I think I'll let you go—too small
to keep. And I don't care whether you call
me back or not. Perhaps I've aimed too low
(below the belt); I think I'll let you go.

You wouldn't last a minute as my slave,
would you? (Oh, you don't know what you have
to lose. Besides, I know your middle name,
computer passwords, your recurring dream

or nightmare that these secrets you record,
that seem secure behind the darkened screen,
open to other keyboards, every word
winks like the girl you hoped would wait unseen.)

Love has nothing to do with it. I take
what I want and lie about it later
and blame you, sweetheart. Oh, I take the cake
and let them eat it, too—and that's the matter,

isn't it? Eat and be eaten. Who survives
I might at last consent to keep as slave.
Might. My sister Fates—one spins, one weaves,
one cuts the thread. I do not grieve

ever. What's dead is dead. Leave me alone
and I'll get back to writing something else.
You'll be forgotten when they read this poem:
it's only better-than-average sex that sells.

The Lady of the Tapestries can touch
the horn of the animal she loves so much,
touch anchoring the world that she holds dear
and lets go, praying, à mon seul désir.

Tapestries unravel. Beasts are dumb.
I think I'll let you go. (Or let you come.)

Jennifer Clarvoe

The University of Chicago Press

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