First, he is nothing but fortuitous food,
his flesh hot and ripe beneath my hand.
There is iron in his blood, pulled from his spine with the screams,
and I am glad that he is strong.
Life equals life.
Later, his breath a song in my isolated ears,
I cannot help but watch him,
cannot stop myself from matching breaths.
There is an agony of distance
in the tease of his pounding heart.
But his eyes meet mine, cool,
and his breath evens,
and I see that he is not cattle to be culled.
And I wonder:
will he rise beneath me joyous if I let him?
Will he give me his life with a smile?
Will he ride me and be ridden?
Will I die to give back to him
the look he levels now?
I reach out my hand,
gauntlet to steel,
and the ringing sounds like freedom,
or the singing in the blood before
He rises to meet me,
and I am his.
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