If you knew, you could crumble empires
a wink at a time. True power
is not to inspire awe
but to corrupt, twist moral
gravity until it rains skyward.
Your degraded youth stirs fear
so potent it threatens to eclipse
all bounds of discretion. I prefer
to keep you broken
in the dark than the alternative:
if you could see your beauty objectively,
theirs would be the wounds
I’d have to nurse.
Josh Stewart is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Temptation as a Technical Difficulty (Anstruther Press, 2015) and Invention of the Curveball (Cactus Press, 2008). His work has appeared in Vallum, Descant, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Antigonish Review, Carousel, Prairie Fire, (parenthetical), CV2, Existere, and others.