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Curse by J. C. Dale

You seem to me the equal of the gods,

As we sit vis-à-vis, and you gently hold my hand and listen.

They bring us water and wine, as we sit,

Allowing me the strength so I could box with your intentions.


My stomach filled with flitting bastards,

And my heart was all aflutter, and I can hardly speak.

Each kiss we shared seemed infinitely more than we should share,

And yet sense is not the issue —

It has nothing-to-do with me.


The seasons change all with you,

And the blossoms fall from spring-born trees.

The first winter is always the worst;

Enjoying that brilliancy of dormancy —


The first touch of return, the youthful sprigs with their familiar green,

And flowers dig themselves out of sleep

As we pull ourselves from our dreaming.


The table we sat not a year ago hasn’t changed,

Yet your youthful hues have grown a little colder,

Your eyes bear the weight of your years.

And yet, face to face, we meet and

I, still foolish, let my heart go flying.


I wonder who my Nemesis was,

The Goddess,

or your heart?

But I could not keep you from your fate,

At least not in my current state, nor could I watch

The fall. That grace we both shared,

That rose, that cheeky grin.


Oh Fortuna,

Even if I asked for her aid,

Would she come and take aim?

I know her cruel fickle strokes;

And still I asked to save you.


I begged forgiveness for my crimes,

To save someone dear,

But I had done more harm than good,

When we met I thought I could

Hide from it all —


Morning sun met my unfamiliar eyes,

Had we been speaking that long?

You never quivered —

Never gave thought to time.

You just listened —

just let me ramble on.


I look to you, and you to me, our eyes like lightning stitching between

The space where your hand is reaching for mine.

I let my emotions well —

You ask what’s wrong, and I could hardly say,

“Love, I am your Death.”


You brush my foolishness

from my face. Ephemeral. I

Should have known better. I

should have given in. I

Tried to avoid your fall.


My eyes caught the sun,

To meet my accusers face on.

I swore that oath that you were mine,

And if there be but a feather-weight of mercy

You’d be spared.


You caught my attention, your lips on mine,

And I tried to whisper, “You were mine.”

But with my tongue stuck between your teeth,

You spoke, “I know, for you are mine.”


J.C. Dale was born in Toronto, Ontario to a hardworking single mother. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in English and a minor in Classical Studies. His poem, “Kaloi Threnoi” was a part of the University of Toronto: Scarborough Campus’

Undergraduate English Conference, “Diversity & Discomfort” in 2017.

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