a not terrible day

i met the devil
same way you would
bump into any
stranger on the street
minding my own business
hoping to avoid
the soon to be
sweltering heat
watching the sidewalk
in front of me
when a long shadow
swallowed the concrete

we made eye contact
my squinting glare of
faded dollars and
a swirl of golden pain
his deep aquamarine stare
the corner of his mouth
raised slightly
a hint of ivory fang
and the blackest of humors

i frowned at his
cloven hooves and the
glint of horns peaking
through long blond hair
a crackle of energy
dancing across his
ruddy chiseled flesh
did nothing much to
impress or intimidate me
and i simply stepped
over to the side and
continued my fetch quest

“i can give you exactly what you want,” he whispered softly
the words
teasing my ear
as i passed him

this made me pause
and glance at him
my eyes asking him
to continue
my expression
carefully dismissive

“fame, fortune, anything your little heart desires”

“and are those the things i want the most?” i countered

he eyed me
up and down slowly
as if i were
a prize pig
headed to the stockyards
and his smile grew
as he made his judgment

“no, nothing so simple would satiate you”

now i smiled
and leaned closer
i could smell the sulphur
of lingering brimstone
as it clung to
his sculpted form
of divinity
in eternal agony
“then what can you offer me?”

“knowledge”

this made me laugh
at the ridiculous notion
that all the knowledge
in the world
could seep into
this chemical spill
in my gelatin soul
and ever hope to make
any sense out of
this hive madness
where no one else
perceives truth
in close to the same way

“freedom”

i slapoed my thigh
what use was freedom
when we were still chained
to fleeting mortality
still encumbered
by the need for
food and rest all while
despite best attempts
we steadily fell apart
with each labored breath

the devil scowled
stamped his hoof on
the cracked sidewalk
leaving scorch marks
in his petulance

“i can make your dreams come true”

i just stared at him
boredom dripping
if he could see my soul
he knew the problem
with my dreams
was most of them had
occured long before
and they were why
i lay awake at night

now he was pissed
snorting small flames
as he glared
eternal damnation
flashed in his eyes
a scene of
nuclear armageddon
in a glacial hate
then his eyes widened
as he realized his folly

“you’ve already sold your soul!” he gasped

i just smiled
and shook my head
“not sold, given away”

and the devil swore
his every word
a gout of flame
in the morning sky
beaten by a poet pauper
whose soul resides
in the wildflowers
dancing in her smile
for the one thing
old scratch
never could abide
was the touch of
one’s heart’s desire

as i walked away
i smiled along with
the sparrow’s song
i heard the devil
muttering and cursing
under his breath
and i had the feeling
today would be
a not terrible day

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