Steel

dancing buddha

I was forged by desire,
hot, molten, flaming
that lovers stoked
at their own risk.

They melted into me.
I was hammered
by love, reduced
by its aftermath.

My leaden feet lifted
by force of will,
I learned to dance
with monkeys
and their crosses
and that weight
on my back.

What else could we do?

When nothing ever happened
on time, when doors slammed
with us behind them,
when we witnessed
everything
but saw nothing,
when we prayed for help,
and were left to ourselves?

Weren’t we all steeled
by love, etched on singular
faces, long after the bodies
have gone to dust?

What wouldn’t we try
to be so warm
again, to strike
over and over,
casting our mistakes
without regret?

key words: Janice Lynch Schuster, poetry

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