Your words bite into my skin, fighting

their way into my being,

drops of pure venom searing through my blood,

the twist of an assassin's knife between the ribs,

seeking the heart.

Neat, rounded syllables coil about the page, wavering

when memories bring you to the brink of tears, yet

strident, authoritarian, when you dictate the victories

of your life's conquests.

You were ever the heroine in tales long past,

dominating the childhood games only we two recall.

You were the Nike to my Nemesis,

the golden idol who befriended me, far

closer than any sister.

Effortless in poise and honesty,

your words swarm in my head, stealing away

any doubt that without you, I am half a person.

Hesitant in all things, reluctantly

skirting the edges of a heady, sinful world,

was I only your slave?

Willingly reflecting back the sunshine of your smile,

content to walk forever in your shadow.

Yet in the clammy reaches of my mind,

I know it is not so.

Where once we dreamed, inking out fantasies upon

scraps of paper,

now we hunt larger game.

You, who don success as a mantle, spying blindly

upon the troubled waters of my life,

silently stalk old ghosts, deliberately

forging back-trails, always intent

on dragging me out into fresh air.

How smoothly you evade the aching, hollow years,

that vast empty space between our letters, and

when last we met face to face.

Your words are the last fragments of a dying myth,

rendered all the more potent for its fragility.

Mute, I am no longer able to fight the effortless pull of your

unfathomable loyalty;

mortally struck, my pen hand slowly turns to stone.