Poem: Chess

Each chess game is its own tragedy:
One king always falls.
Or they both stay standing, star-crossed,
staring at each other, eternally helpless.

Your opening game is strong:
Boldly controlling the center of my thoughts,
thrusting yourself into middle of the board,
and I’ve quickly lost my center.

It’s too easy to see my next moves;
but yours are elusive, unpredictable.

I’m at a disadvantage.
I haven’t played this side of the board in a long time
and I’m disoriented-
everything seems mirror-backwards.

I’ve been jumping over minefields using my knights,
but before I know it,
I’m in check.
My Queen is gone,
my pawn will never reach the other side,
I’m left with a rag-tag bishop and lonely rook
to protect myself.

We have captured small parts of each other piece by piece
and now we circle each other,
postponing the inherent and inevitable tragedy-
one move at a time, star-crossed,
trying not to fall.

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