Lesley Parker

Duel Abandon

…the loved becomes the lover,
the seeker sought, the kindler burns…
— Ovid

They met on a lonely street,

behind a sign that read, Love.

He asked the time and she

told him 8:00, her place.

They drank Merlot and he read

her horoscope from Allure.

Cupid will strike on the most obvious

of days. Throw up your shield, protect

your heart. She laughed and pulled

the red tablecloth over her breasts.

His deep voice said playfully

Let me give you another chance,

from another time. He whipped out

a paper from his coat pocket, scanned

for Scorpio and pretended to read,

It is time for your very own apocalypse.

Make love to a complete stranger

now — and tell him how good it feels.

She wrapped her legs around him,

scissoring his small waist as he

carried her to the canopy bed.

The next morning, he watched her

pulsing pupils change form — from

daggers to wingtips, revolving in circles.

He sipped love potion and poured

several drops into her coffee, scribbled

a note on a post-it pad and quietly

exited the room, tipping his hat.

When she woke, she took a sip

of warm coffee. What a charmer,

she thought and chuckled to herself,

he’ll be back. She traipsed to the door

to make sure it was locked and noticed

a note tacked against the red wood

with an arrow. This is my love,

for the hole in your heart.