Like a Brother

“A brother,” she calls me. I nod
and show her my bluff. “Yes,
I see you as a sister,” I say.
“I’m happy for you. For Nick.
Such a perfect couple!
Romeo and Juliet! Antony and Cleopatra!
Destined to enjoy centuries together.”
All technique Professor Lynch gave his drama class,
every syllable I give to this performance
in this Roman colosseum, playing dead,
praying that the lion, its depraved gut
deprived of meat for over two decades,
won’t snap the rusty chain and pounce
this girl with a frightening roar: “You’re like a sister
and I’m fiending with incestuous cravings!”

A beast can’t win this. Only a serpent.

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