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New Poetry: “A Deal’s a Deal.”

The brain monkeys say, “Hello.” This poem’s a long one, but I hope you’ll have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Even if you’re not the religious sort, I hope you’ll appreciate the small puns and fun scattered throughout.

And if you ARE the religious sort, I hope you’ll take a moment to ponder the intent of this poem, and take the time to find its small, hopeful heart.

A DEAL’S A DEAL

Mephistopheles
Came roaring through the black earth;
Late, as usual.

He found the crossroads
deserted but for one man,
Clutching a guitar.

He suppressed a sigh,
slid into a skin made to
meet expectations.

“They told me you’d be
beautiful,” said the man, his
voice drenched in Memphis.

“So I am,” she said.
Her body was made, if not
for sin, then surely

to promote it.

The man had courage;
He did not flinch from her gaze.
Brave, then. But foolish.

“What’ll it be?” she purred,
Her voice and fingers cut from
The same silk shadow.

“A platinum record?”
“An illustrious career,
Your name in bright lights?”

The man from Memphis
had a sweet, lopsided smile.
“No thank you, ma’am.”

“Ma’am,” yet. She laughed, charmed
even now by what angelic
apes these mortals made.

“So what *do* you want?”
she asked, a manicured hand
caressing his arm.

The man’s tanned face was
familiar, somehow; thick lips,
golden tan, deep eyes.

He troubled her soul.

“I’m here to collect.”
He said, slipping deftly from
Her sulfurous grasp.

His tan was fading,
an emerald pallor rose,
suffusing his skin.

His guitar was now
A staff, one of kings of old,
And his bearing was

Ancient.

Mephistopheles
Snorted. S…He feared no one,
Except for HIM, and

This verdant dust bag
Was most certainly not His
Former employer.

“Memphis. Oh, that’s cute,”
she said, shifting into a
Boschian nightmare.

But nothing happened.

She tried again, a
single drop of brimstone sweat
sliding from her brow

To burrow into
The black earth at her fair feet.
The green man just smiled.

“I saw you fall, y’know.”
His accent had changed as well.
Slow; sonorous; *green.*

“Pride. Like so many
tools, its sharp edges require
careful handling.”

She came at him, then.
Fingers curled like claws, dark eyes
full of rage and hate.

The green-faced man smiled
and tapped her, just once, gently,
with his golden staff.

The high desert wind
blew over her, through her, and
her infernal flame

winked out.

She staggered, hugging
herself in the sudden chill.
“What…what have you done?”

“Child,” he said softly,
“I’ve made many things; and you
are not one of them.”

“But,” he continued, one
strong hand raised to silence her.
“HE who did make you…”

The green man’s smile
quirked to one side, and he laughed.
“Let’s just say HE…”

A moment’s pause.

“…drives a hard bargain.”

“For three thousand years,
I’ve watched you twist and destroy.
You don’t make; you break.”

The darkest angel
was nonplussed; What else was she
Supposed to do? Weep?

“I wasn’t made to serve,”
she said softly. “The voices of
the outer dark, they…”

“Child.” the man said.
His voice was hard and brittle
as old papyrus.

“Many things were made,
in the elder days, and not
all of them love life.

Nor were all of them
made at the pleasure of your
Thunderous father.”

The Morning Star gaped.

“Even in the wake
of your foolishness, you might
have gone home; grown wise.”

“But instead, you chose
To twist the world, to turn it
sour, to breed hate.”

“Kin against their kith;
Man against his daughters and
his mother, just as you

hated your Father.”

She winced, shrank away
From his enraged visage; that
venomous contempt.

The crossroads grew quiet.
She opened one flawless eye,
Risked a fearful glance.

The guitar was back.
As was the golden tan, the
Wavy pompadour.

“So what now?” she asked.
The chill seemed determined to
sink into her bones.

“That Lake of Fire sounds
pretty tempting about now,”
she said, shivering.

The guitar player laughed.
“You’re the most like them, you know.
So curious. So clever.”

“It’s why HE loved you best.”

Memories she’d thought
long since destroyed rose like wine
in her withered heart.

She was shocked to find
tears spilling down her smooth cheeks.
“Just…tell me my doom.”

“‘The artificer,”
said the old god, “is what they
called me. Some still do.”

His regard was firm,
But his voice was gentle, now.
“I make things anew.”

“Your doom is this, child:
Live. Live in this world you’ve shaped.
Reap what you have sown.”

“Yeah, HE LOVES that one.”
She was frightened and confused;
Old friends come to call.

“But what…how can I…”
The old god turned away, paused,
then looked back at her.

“I told you. Live. Learn.
Good luck, oh daughter of Eve.
You’re gonna need it.”

The night swallowed him.
She was alone, in the cold,
under fiery stars.

She gazed at the sky,
Thought about gold thrones, old bones,
and, for the first time

Since she’d left her home,

Love.

Published inAmericaFun StuffLGBTpoetryUncharacteristic Sincerity

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