No Kingdom

Sweat drips,
      Sweat through thick black eyebrows
salinely blearing smears a blacker world,
as fingers fumble down the shafts of arrows,
tautly bend the end of life, and aim it at the girl.

The archer stands firm legs apart, stillness
in his lungs, the quiver slung across his back
tranquil as the child beneath her dress—

Arrowhead pierces the amniotic sac.

A barren queen collapses to the dirt,
An assassin fades to shade and disappears,
The king, she holds: a torn and bloodied shirt,
whose kingdom:
      “Gone,” sold by an auctioneer.
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