The guise of a false hope warily cloaks
an unkempt soul bereft of fortitude -
stolid in the belligerent face of unnamed evil,
an aura of past opulence adulterates naive purity,
the stigma augmented by an insidious breach
of internal asylum. The vulnerability of
a soldier against oneself takes precedence
in the chasmal crusade yet to come; omniscient
intimation gives way to dour prophecies,
ambidextrous in their intricate verbosity.
Molten in the inferno of cross-interrogation,
pliable in the hands of a mortared veteran,
reiteration serves only as a gibe, a grievance
only the most foolish jester would make
before a corroding monarch. The demons
have rallied for annihilation; the starling
warbles an aria of capitulation, its notes
reverberating through the tentative sunset,
a sky of gray and orange mingling with the song
to convey an unequivocal defeat. But after every
dusk comes a period of resurrection, and from the haze
emerges a heroine unrecognizable if not for eyes
ablaze with scarred determination. She strides
with the strength of ten thousand legions, a leviathan's
courage uncovered in her still-beating heart.
The devil flees, uncomfortable in the blinding presence
of mortal accompanied by heavenly body. This -
this is redemption for armor lost, the answer
to her yearning prayers that had been barely audible over the
convulsing sobs that had swallowed her for so long.
Finally vanquished of the toxic beast that had claimed her,
she rises victorious, proclaiming amidst glory a single word -
strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.