That Thirteenth Guest, Unavoidably Detained; Absent

The curvacious peasant girl you wanted to murder
as part of your infernal rite of sacrifice
now sits with us poets, eleven, at our circular table.
Her long hair is unknotted and cascades over
the strategically diaphanous gown she has put on.
She left her overly confining shoes with you,
I believe, and that works to our advantage:
her legs are sheathed in gold stockings, perfectly
translucent to the opaque
doubled weave at her heels and toes.
Sumptuous courses in generous portions
compete for our appetized attentions;
while we, with impromptu verses composed,
compete for our beautiful guest's amusement.
You have been unavoidably detained---
and no one holds that trivial detail against you:
it shrinks in comparison to your other acts and statements.
You said, "Send me to Hell---I look forward to it."
Our torches lit the night-clouded murk's
obstructed visibility and creeping cold,
as we bound your wrists and then your ankles
for your momentary inconvenience:
leaving to your limbs sufficient latitude
for the inevitable, entertaining sequence of jerks---
most pronounced in your case; a well-conditioned man.
You gave us, one might say, the evening's best kicks.

The clouds have since parted---perhaps to acknowledge your death.
We can see you across the meadow, at the end of the rope.
A little breeze may occasionally sway you.
And hungry crows are congregating your way, too.
I wonder which one will peck the delicacies that were your eyes.
Now that you are acquainted, somewhat, with your final destiny
perhaps you can clarify something that has been told me.
Although hell may already contain some multitude,
yet---they tell me---you feel entirely alone;
bereft of even thinking of the consolation that others
share in your unending, undiminished suffering---
not the results you hoped your blasphemous rituals would bring.
You will not even have the satisfaction of meeting
that one whom you proclaimed your soul's leige king:
he will have his own isolation, as fierce as yours---
just flames that will never burn down to mere embers;
and worms that devour but do not consume;
and no one before whom you can show off
(that was the point to all of it, admit it,
because you could not fit in with normalcy).
Well, he has always hated his own on the take:
remember, he first came among us as a snake.





Oh, by the way, my poem was selected
by our guest---this small address to you that I sung.
She told me she could trust me to name the right prize:
and thus directed,
(my delights everyone knows):
I asked only to kiss each of her stockinged toes,
with deeply appreciative---very wet---lips and tongue.
An opportunity I will not waste:
unlike you I cherish their shapes, fragrance and taste;
but most I adore her soft and contented sighs,
coming from fulsome curvacity
that will inspire more lines of my poetry.




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