flotsam
rating: +24+x

"Seven seals for seven brides,"
you tell yourself your sacred lies.
Your family has got their eyes
in every corner of your lives,
and so you make your sacrifice
and break the living sacrifice
upon the jagged sea-soaked bones on which they built your faith.

"I'm not like them" you love to say,
your favorite words for any day
where blood and guts and bone shards sway
the faith that is your price to pay
for food and shelter, beds to lay
on sleepless nights after you pray
for rescue from the sea-soaked bones on which they built your faith.

Are you complicit, evil, or
a victim of the Scarlet shore
that floods the streets reserved for poor
forgotten men, who long for more
than rats and dirt, the daily chore
of playing pauper, beggar, whore,
for greater men whose birthright spares such sea-soaked, wretched fates.

Although…

"My name could have been yours."
"I wear the scale of snakes."
"You have a choice, I swear I swear I swear I swear I swear I swear-

And all at once, their metal fin
is plunged into his serpent skin
to cut from him his wicked sin.
Upon the ribs of whales, they pin
the wicked man among his kin:
the sinners, whores, and those who've been
a danger to the brotherhood built 'pon a sea-soaked faith.

Had it been you who held the knife?
Had it been you who took his life,
condemned him to an afterlife
of faith sustained through lack of strife?
But no, you hadn't held the knife.
You know you hadn't held the knife,
so why, then, are your fingers slick with such sudden unfaith?

Your skin is slimy, slick, inflamed
with Scarlet, fev'rish faith, unclaimed
by all the sinful filth ashamed
to admit truth. For those ordained
by Scarlet…

Really?

You know you have a name.
Is it so far from snakes
or deer or whales or butterflies or normal men with hope-filled eyes-

They find you packing up your bag
and escort you (with smiles, sad)
to bright-lit rooms, where dressed in flag
your loving family, ragtag,
proclaims to you "you're our comrade,
we're there for you when all is bad"
and so, again, your will's subsumed in wretched, sea-soaked faith.

Fit to drown, you're fit to drown,
you're fit to, fit to, fit to drown,
you're only really fit to drown
in surefire fitness to drown
in drowning drownings, drowning down
the drowning drain where all hope drowned
the moment circumstance declared your wretched, sea-soaked fate.

And yet…

This can't be all there is.
Weren't you kin of the snake,
who looked like you and spoke like you and surely could have once been you?
Who lived his life in three ideas,
unconstrained by seven lines?
Living, breathing,
and achieving
(faced with death!) a peace of mind?

So you run,
and through every difficult step,
through every screaming synapse longing for the comfort of rhyme schemes,
through the remnants of (what couldn't be called) the life snatched away by the sea,
you take in the absence of structure
and sigh in relief as the wind kisses the skin where the tumor once was.

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