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Did it ever occur to you
that maybe
you saved my life?

I don’t think
there was any way for you
to have a clue
that on that day
you first saw me
I had my soul
in a sealed white envelope
and I was on my way
to wire it via Western Union
to the Devil’s address
in Argentina
because I thought
there was something he had
that I wanted
and he named his price.

You only saw
a beautiful woman
all made up
you didn’t know what it was all for:
the ultimate act of defiance
a rendezvous with damnation
and you,
you were no angel
but infinitely more harmless
than my original dinner date
with an infuriating confidence, too
if I might add
and you sweet-talked me into
spending my night instead
with you.

And in the morning
I woke up in a strange bed
the sheets reeking
with the power of unspent souls
the pillows moist
and permanently stained
with unsold dignities
so what if you were not there?
so what if my heart
lay broken in the corner
under the heap of my clothes?
You gave me what I needed:
reasonable doubt
to shatter a dangerous certainty
I would not have survived
but could not have been deterred
any other way.

I’d rather wake up desecrated
than in hell.

Your mere physical presence
your being nothing
but who you are
at a certain place
at a certain time
mattered unimaginably

and all you thought you had
was a simple conquest,
a one-night stand.