If I hadn’t taken that dare,
or he that breathless swallow of poison,
I would never have had the chance
to find that age is only a number,
and true love skips across distance
like a pebble on smooth water.
If I hadn’t sought the demon,
while he taunted me about smirking,
I’d have never learned to gamble;
play roulette, my heart as barter.
I wouldn’t know that I’m a bad loser
who’ll fight to win back what I lost.
And, in doing so, lose more
until I borrowed from the future
to win back yesterday.
I’d never have trusted dark brown eyes,
to find that the tan spot beneath the iris
of his right eye was a warning.
Those angel eyes could look
straight into mine and lie
ruthlessly, without remorse,
or that I could lie back to get even
and not even feel ashamed.
I’d never have discovered
my hidden wealth of cruelty;
the depths to which I’d sink
to hurt someone I love.
That love can be a demon
possessing and suckling my heart
like a calf at teat,
drawing out each painful drop,
long after there was nothing more to give;
the udder, slack and empty.
If I’d sidestepped the Nightwalker,
prowling the filled gutters
for treasures like me,
I wouldn’t have felt
the razor sharp knife of lust
turn to love
as it dug into me from behind;
tearing at my insides
and battering my body
while he quietly stole my soul.
I know now that demon and angel
are housed in one body
in each of us, day and night,
dark and bright.
We all hold capacity for good and bad,
lies, truth, love and hate.
Passion and pain are sisters
who go everywhere together.
If I hadn’t met the phantom
I’d never know that I, too, am a phantom;
hiding under the cover of normalcy
when I am anything but normal.
If I I’d never met the Phantom,
I’d never know him without
his top-hat and cloak.
Seen beneath the disguise,
through both of our lies
and loved him anyway.