As for me, I would have strangled you
gladly with both hands,
squeezed you closed, also
your yelps of joy.
Life goes more smoothly without a heart,
without that shiftless emblem,
that flyblown lion, magpie, cannibal
eagle, scorpion with its metallic tricks
of hate, that vulgar magic,
that organ the size and colour
of a scalded rat,
that singed phoenix.
But you’ve shoved me this far,
old pump, and we’re hooked
together like conspirators, which
we are, and just as distrustful.
We know that, barring accidents,
one of us will finally
betray the other; when that happens,
it’s me for the urn, you for the jar.
Until then it’s an uneasy truce,
and honour between criminals.