I don’t know what suggested you to me.
You were a ship, with pennants hoisted high,
And I, a droplet drifting in the sea.
I let you lead me. Now I wonder why.
In those lost days, you did not seem remote.
“This ship,” I said, “respects the little waves —
Rolls with their motion, like a lesser boat.”
But now it seems you saw us all as slaves.
The sea, I learn, is not allowed to choose
Which way the liner steams, but in its wake
Is caught, to follow as its captain deems.
My only choice: which tyrant’s path to take.
Some ships sink, when the sea leaves them alone.
You left the sea. Your fate now is your own.
Written before I knew the outcome of the election.
What else is power for, except to fall
And warp the natural order to my will?
From lakes I'd make a moat; from stones a wall.
Hearts, chain with love and hate, to hold them still.
What else are words, except a way to lie?
I name the need, then think the deed is done;
I call my half-attempted work a "try",
Then ask for hands to hold the tools I shun.
What else is choice, except excuse for pain?
"Here sacrifice yourself, and win renown!"
"Turn back? You'll fade. Go on? You'll strive in vain."
"Choose which to lose: your heart, or head, or crown."
What else is life, except continued breath?
It's only everything that isn't death.
O wanderer, why tread you on this shore?
What fatal need has driven you this far?
What grand enchantment would you ask me for?
To truth I bind you: tell me who you are!
Some come replete with gifts the best to please,
Others afoot and clothed in pilgrim's grey;
A few come armed, with dreadnoughts on the seas.
But how you travelled won't change what I'll say.
You've proven you are brave, to journey here
Where what you knew's remote beyond remote.
So truly you believe, you've quelled your fear,
In hope I'll grant your wish and spare your throat.
I won't do both, but I will give you one:
Die here and now, and what you ask is done.