I always lose at chess.

White moves first. I choose black every time.

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You would die for your king.

I am ambivalent about my mine.

For some reason I envision him as an elderly

Henry VIII, gouty and incompetent from syphilis

With his queen, a viciously possessive caricature

Of a scheming Anne Boleyn.

I do not meddle with the monarchs.

I much prefer the pawns--idiosyncratic

And delightfully headstrong--the groundlings

Who brawl at a performance of As You Like It.

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But while I am playing tag, you are planning treason.

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My queen is publicly beheaded, and

Your bishop smiles, gleeful as he muses,

oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Now I shall inherit the earth.

In a checkered courtyard, my beloved knights

Perish in his Inquisition, refusing to recant

A heliocentric theory of existence, in which

Ambition is not a universal law, Machiavelli

Does not call the shots, and there is no king

On this pedestal called Divine Right.

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You say I lost. I say life is not about winning.