Taurean Negotiations by Adriane Tharp

I mean it when I say
stop painting the oceans red.
I mean it when I say
I’ve had enough of the bull-and-seagoat games
you fool me into playing
because it amuses you to watch me writhe
at the scent of victories I’ll never taste,
this constant tug-of-war over earth
that leaves me bruised but never beaten.

Some days I swear we could be zodiacal gods:
lovers, enemies, or accomplices
depending from whose mouth the stories trickle,
relying on whether you would come down
from your mountain to grant me the basic respect
of speaking face-to-face.
In an inverse world
where communications come easy
we could decide for ourselves
to conquer, to triumph,
to draw our swords
only to lay them down at our feet.
I am naïve to think that those conversations
could be anything other than
the cadences of a language spoken only by the stars.

This is the plague of a peacekeeper
who shares the tongue of a realist:
I know you shake my universe
only to watch me cling to the ground
as the lights of heaven fall to earth
because you know you can,
because you find my attempts to impress you entertaining,
because I look up to you
and you are complacent with looking down upon me.

Stubborn soul that I am,
bending my back just to break it
trying to breach the ocean between us.
It’s possible I wasn’t destined
to part your red seas.
I will teach myself to swim.