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Joanne Monte


The Betrayal


Today the drapes, for once,
have been drawn and, at last,
the sun has lit up the pine-dark interiors
of that day you poured me wine at supper,
I need now acknowledge.

I had failed to notice then,
how subtly your fingers had lifted the knife
to skin the lamb,
how unconscionably
you had cut through the leanest part
of the bone, the precious flesh
ripped open and steaming. I had failed to notice
how the table’s solid sheet of maple reflected
the sharp glimmer of the blade
and the rapid gutting,
and how, afterward, you devoured the rare meat,
wanting to strip everything clean,
the wine spilling over like blood.
It was your last supper,

the room abandoned
and the drapes drawn, but still clinging
to the one ray of light in the window
as though it could reach into those dark corners
and deflect the desire for vengeance.

Submitted: Sunday, March 13, 2011
Edited: Saturday, April 16, 2011

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