Duel

The thrust
of your argument
is bladed

and already slick with my blood
from the last time I failed
to dodge quickly enough.

The point
of what you want to say
is barbed,

and if I respond,
it will catch in my mouth
and hook my cheek;

you will land me
with an easy pull,
as you always do —

it’s just that some time,
you will run out
of straw men to burn,

and you will pick me up
as the next piece of kindling,
without a second thought.

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