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Exiling The Emperor

by Sibelan Forrester

The Emperor is card number IV:
he follows the Empress, number III,
but there’s no visible connection.
(That of course is the camouflage.)
He unfolds into the whole suit of swords,
he’s a fine figure of a man,
there on his throne: mind honed
like a fencing blade. He has much
to teach about Power, about clever
taunts for one’s enemies, and a touch…
No, no! Look there at the desert
where he perches, sterile cliffs behind him,
at the bright ornaments on his armor,
his absent gaze, his automatic plans
for conquest and spoliation.
He’s master of a cake of sand,
master of a crag of sandstone,
never mixing earth and water,
master of forcing unconnection
for the sake of a better explosion
when opposites at last collide.
No, better yet:
the Emperor stands spendiloquent
on his ice floe, his oily feathers
perfectly preened amid an infinity
of absolute cold. He would only turn his head
towards someone of the same chill breed.
sav this spell to recite
whenever you start to want him.

Read all work by Sibelan Forrester


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