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I Am Santo

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What’s Ours, What’s Theirs

We’re crafting big Hells
In little packages,
Gift-wrapped by hands
Aching with pride,
Bones undone by the delicate task
Of inviting suffering
Where tenderness was required.
Here in the fire
The soliloquies deafen,
Their unsound reason
Shattering ear drums
With the beat of a thousand lies.
And they pile up,
A snowball’s chance
Now rolled into an avalanche.
The deftness of retreating truth,
Its agility,
Allowing pirouettes on tightropes
Leaves all traces covered,
These able digits,
Popping knuckles,
Count backward while spidering progress.
What lessons do they teach
When the box proves better
Than what’s inside?
Isn’t that always the way?
When the grifter gifts grief
And we parley parlays
Into ever higher stakes
Charred beyond recognition.
It’s gold-plated,
This calculated whimsy.
Good enough to serve
But dangerously inedible.
We made it look so good.
We made it so they’d swallow it.
We made it Heaven on the outside
So the surprise will anesthetize
And the bitter cold
Will burn fast
Any hope lingering;
A sweet frigid kiss
To take away bated breath.

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