Who let these two pawns crowd
into a single square? The game
requires that we each defend
our solitude. We have banished
the bird from the tree & the tree
from the horizon. But now
the white knight wrestles
with temptation: can’t he take
the direct route to head them off,
pin them against the straight-
arrow castle, instead of sidling up
in waltz steps like some kind
of goddamned dandy?
The black & white squares begin
to merge — a gray quicksand.
His horse grows scaley,
anadromous, gathers itself
for a leap worthy of Cúchulainn.
The disobedient pair flee
to the far edge of their flat earth
& turn into queens,
resplendent & terrifying.
The watchman bawls
from his tall tower,
Check & Check & Mate.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- The Book of Ystwyth
- The Grave Dug by Beasts
- The Comfort of Angels Attending the Dying
- The Man Who Lived in a Tree
- The Penitent Roasted by the Sun
- The Barbarian Brought Down by a Lioness
- The Celibate Couple Pursued
- The Righteous Man Surprised by the Devil
- The Beating of the Falsely Accused
- “Tempations of Solitude” series now half as solitary
- The Grave Dug by Beasts (videopoem)
- The Grave Dug by Beasts: a new videopoem by Swoon