by Tony Hoagland

How could you, Shahid, have been so cruel,

as to show us what selflove looked like?
Was it a kind of punishment?
It was like giving copies of the Kama Sutra
to people without genitals.

“I am a slave to pleasure,” you said once,
and paused, in your lascivious way;
“because she is such a sweet master.”
And then you smiled, like sugar.

How could you tolerate us, anyway?
with our pale, thin faces, and our loyalty
to pain?  Did you love us for our poverty,
like Mother Teresa?

Were you making a donation?
And when we used our suspicion
to hold you at bay,
you simply loved our suspiciousness.

Thus you overcame us.
“Your wealth shall uncover their worthiness,”
says the Koran.
“Who put the ooo in boudoir ?” you purred.

You knew    we knew    you knew.
Then you were gone, like sugar.
And the dark seemed sexier
for having swallowed you.