the love of kings
By: ShinigamiForever

Once, quite long ago,
but what do numbers have to do with causes and effects and monumental stone cathedrals?
Richard the Lionheart slept with Philip Augustus
to share heat and intrigue and no doubt a few cold tears of Venus,
but it was in none of them to claim heritage from
Alexander or Achilles--
No a's, you see, so love (French to Philip: amour?) was out of the question,
and it must be said that Mongol andas are too far out of reach to support this hesitant and fluttering bond,
termed homoerotic by contemporaries
and maybe just dust-worthy and political to the tired and jaded people of the Middle Ages.

(Ah, Jamuka! Are you to be a Judas, or were you
Philip Augustus' predilection, too ruthless to care but too much enamored of justification?)

But you, tender dear gray-haired Richard, you who are not Genghis Khan bent on domination
you with a son named Philippe
you who may have loved Philip Augustus with your soul like the good Saint Augustine
you who may or may not have tormented yourself with a solemn and ambition-chasing woman (now in your unoccupied bed),
you who loved enough for accusations but not enough to slow down the historical decay of critics
you and your three daughters of sin and your hermit monks,
who were you to stake a flag on barren desert lands breached by catapults
but not on love?

And you, cold and heartless Philip Augustus, you who are not Jamuka bent on revenge,
you with the title of king to spare
you who may have wanted to advance the penetration of unsuspecting foreigners into a tight circle of hermeneutic
you who in the fall of 1188 held a secret treaty with one who might be a brother in a Spartan bond
you who fought and did not fight and cared and did not care
you who shared the earthy garb, be it body soul or strength with an enemy who is a family who was a divine honor
you who in the ceremonial action of courtly love was enabled to have a sexless innocence of friendship
who were you to understand a declare something so shocking and subliminal as love for the act of peace
but not declare desire?

But to me with 4,096 variations on love in 3 hexadecimal numbers
to me with this stage of snow-lifted-number-infested-word-polluted standard of behavior
and to me with a simple and yearning desire to find in all of this masking and all of this hiding and all of this dodging
an answer as quiet and as unobtrusive as heretics seeking cover,
to me who neither understands nor forgives Philip Augustus or Richard the Lionheart,
I ask of you this,
(not the fancy questions of meaning and caring and the definitions of lust in various non-physical desires,
not the fact-less biographies
not the meaning of part-time love affair perhaps the result of bride-waving mothers,
but this:)

Where is the beginning of an ending of an end-worthy beginning of a love?



A/N: For answers, references, and perhaps a very interesting topic for all of you medieval history buffs who don't cringe at the idea of homosexual kings, go to: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/richard-disc.txt.