i taught my knights to walk 
from either corner of my face.
once we were the kingdom.
i felt my flesh checker 
as i got older. castles gliding 
razor like across the moore. 
once, i played with death. 
challenged him to a match 
on my tongue. 
he folded his hands in his lap
as i tried to corner his queen.
two of them dance sapphic
in their rows. who hasn't 
been bisected by their own color?
shadow meet daylight. here & then
gone. somedays, just a king remains.
stalks the edge of my bones.
remembers the days
when his round-headed children
marched straight forward 
to their destruction. i am 
a series of children's crusades.
the bishops's sign of the cross
over their foreheads. all the gone pieces
at the bottom of a well
in my sternum. i followed the rules
for how to depart. clean & precise.
this is how the left side of my face
became a shadow too. sitting 
at a halved board. king 
on either side of a table. 
i feel the patterns of my two male 
& two female & two knight. they keep 
me wide awake with their plotting.
i spend a day only killing sideways.
then, follow a holy man to the edge
to make up for what was neccesary.
a girl living under the crown 
like a goat beneath trampoline

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