He told one lie inside one sentence—

A capital letter, a comma, a period—

To stop the darts inside their eyes

With tips of poison traced with flesh

And ash

From the man before.


He carried his lie like a shield—

A bouche, an umbo, a coat of arms—

To hide the head he held up high

A posturing of dignity and pride

But hidden

Like a murderer walking free.


His arm was heavy with the weight—

Sinews tearing, sweating, fatigued—

So he told one more to add to the other

Deflecting, like a reflection of fire

And blinding

Impending conclusions.


He picked up his finger like a steely blade—

A quillon, a foible, a forte—

To thrust accusations dripping with blood

Into the flesh of the men within his reach

But falling

Below his cutting edge.


He grasped at a pain inside his chest—

A palpitation, a flutter, a squeeze—

To arrest the cardiac aberration

That pumped with compassion

And wrenched out

His beating liability.


He opened his mouth and told one more—

A series, a novel, a narrative—

To let the drips of his life smear their faces

With draining blood

But lifeless

His heart deflated like a balloon.


The chill of the air blew through his flesh

And hardened his skin into


No longer a He but now an It,

It gathered the furs of the men

At his feet

And wrapped their death around

His own.


It told one lie and built a fortress—

An isolation, a prison, a cage—

To insulate itself from the arrows

It feared would leak its life

But drained

Its own instead.


Jill Szoo Wilson


(Photo Credit: This story was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller‘s piece, Fur http://www.heikomueller.de)