In the mirror he can see his stories,
past and present sins as carved striations,
scars and flaky rot —
still he smiles, pretending
it’s right to take but never give.
Coerced consent is still a yes
(he thinks) and moist his lips.
What was her name again?
Can his spray tan
mask the voice that whispers and insists:
“memento mori” ?
Can he make it through another day pretending
that what’s fake is real?
Yes, he sighs and smiles
— if no-one else —
at least he has the sense to love himself.
He’s ready for the daylight,
confident and bold. It’s time
to conquer once again.
He build his battlegrounds on naked skin
on thighs and breasts,
adding notches to his mental gun.
Victorious he wades through misery of others
and climb on corpse cliffs for another conquest.
But as night comes crawling
a consciousness of conscience gnaws
on spleen and liver.
Unmasked, alone he’s sleepless once again.