sputter

i’ve played
devil’s advocate
for so long
but does the devil
ever advocate me

it’s one way

i played
the dutiful lover
the loyal friend
the rapscallion
the jester

it’s my way

the wind howls a lonesome song down the valley of my mind, whispering through the rustling leaves, a choir for one

but this tabernacle is off key, a melody not succinct, hammering nails into my eardrums, the blood obscures the theme

feeling less than optimal, less than me, more than ever feeling less a man, just an action figure half melted in the summer sun

when i was a child we would hold smoke bombs and chase each other as the flames sputtered and clouds of violet exhaust hid us

until the day i held the wrong type of incendiary device and was forced to smile as pain exploded in clenched fingers

it’s my way

dogged determination
to finish the bit
to keep the smile
long after joy
has sputtered out

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