King of Persia
Estill Pollock

The first look counts for nothing. A loose
fit of fabric rustles as she walks
this way, this way to own me. How lush,
how contoured each animal hide, eyes
a bowstring to the look, where the welts
she raises rise pleasing to the lash.

When my army took Valerian
at the gates, and I slit him gut to
gullet, and salted the skin, and stuffed
it with his own Imperial gown,
Rome shook. The whip instructs the reign. I know
its bright touch, her pleasure in its gift.
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