If hate were a water moccasin, you’d be dead by now.
Its venom would have siphoned the life out of you,
spilling your rage in a torrent of thinned blood.

But hate’s not a water moccasin, so you’re still alive,
if you can call the state you’re in living. At least you’re
still kicking the ground and stabbing the air with your finger.

There you were, entranced with a deep lagoon full of
water moccasins, twisting them around your fingers
in a reverie of danger, staring into their cat-like eyes.

I used to wonder how you escaped the toxin, but then I saw
that odious poison pooling in your eyes, your tears unable
to fall, drowning you in an inescapable noxious tide.

You’re learning now that the water moccasin’s bite
could have been a gentler course than the one you chose,
that long, slow explosion of irreversible regret.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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