On A Spike

Can you see my head 
as you ride back into town?

I’m here because, in short, I lost.
Or rather, my head is here
and my body…well…

Can you see I’ve done my makeup?
Polished my spike?
I’ve worked hard.
I knew you were coming.

I can’t remember what did it,
what moment led to my reign
over this soupy post of quiet rot, 
head here and body…well…
War can be funny like that.

I bet you’ve forgotten all about it,
but for different reasons.
I hear you’ve got land now, cattle.
That’s nice.

Had someone asked, I’d have preferred
to’ve gone eyeless. Gouged out.
Mashed to pulps. Fed to a goat.
It would’ve spared me seeing your hair glint,
your eyes shimmer, your arms pump and flex
as you clop up the road. It feels wrong.
I can’t cry for your perfection. I’m dead.

I suppose the upside to it all is
my purpose: I’ve finally found one.
I was pretty useless while I could still roil
and ache and beat my chest. Breathe. Need.
I am now very helpful: I’m a warning.

See my head as you ride into town?
Aren’t I pretty?
Aren’t you mortified?

(2020)