In the warrior
a dislike of war,
a disdain for the love of killing,
a disgust with the killer self.
a skill at all the art of death,
a willingness to be Death
if Death is who is needed.
I knew a poet once
who disdained the art, who disliked rhyme
but was good at both, too good in fact
not to be famous in spite of herself.
Once, the poet
met the warrior
and they sat and talked
a long time
of comparison and metaphor
and sniper’s range and lyric’s force.
They spoke of throw weight and arc
and how slippery a battlefield can be
after a war has passed, of how slippery
the world is to a poet
who’s described it often enough
in stretched and violent ways.
They make me uneasy, sitting there
with hands full of liquor, heads tipped in close,
seeming to agree on everything.
I like my poets gentler, my warriors more taciturn.
I like to see them not love each other
as much as these two seem to love.
I like my world to have a place for each,
and for that place to be somewhere
out of earshot, sight, and reach.