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these keys

which I have given

coerced beseeched or willing—

promises, vows, endearments,

strictures, scriptures, fears,

rings, whips, angels,

demons and temptations of the flesh

these keys

I take them back


I take back my life

from the fire of love

from the embrace of compassion

from the necklace of piety

from the identity card of party and clan

from these

and all other leashes

I take back my life


neither blindfolded nor blinkered, I step

into the shouting avenue of tomorrow

where the wind howls

and the dead branches

mock with witches fingernails

barefooted but without bit or halter

naked of all attachments, I advance

on broken glass


there’s no going back

bleeding or cold

to the house of the stolen keys

To Go Back To
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© Johnmichael Simon



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