Rescue, a Poem

So I work pretty well under pressure.

For example, one of my good friends posted the following prompt on his Facebook page a few days ago.

ImageI don’t know why my brain processed this as a dare, but I immediately put down my lunch and began typing away. Fifteen minutes later, I emerged with the following poem. I think this thrown-together saga actually counts as some of my “good” stuff!

Rescue

Sneakers scuff against linoleum tiles
As the long hallway leads my feet to the locker room,
A halogen-lit corridor the likes of me never see.
I slithered out from my basement home–
Pallid skin singed by the sunlight–
To find you in your element today,
Swimming in the ethereal light of a gymnasium,
Alone in the colorful aquarium of your popularity.
I’m out of place.
My dark tail drags a conspicuous trail through the sand,
But my hand, skinny and gnarled–
Probably from too many video games
Doesn’t stop hoping that you’ll hold it some day.
It’s a perfect dream,
And you say my name.

Our reverie is shattered by your screams.
My footfalls echo on polished and painted wood,
My claws clatter against the stones of your ivory tower,
As I climb, and I find you,
Pinned down by the body of a quarterback–
Your one-time knight in shining armor–
I know it’s his letterman jacket
Over your shoulders and under your back–
And I know it doesn’t matter
Just like it doesn’t matter that you should have been mine
Because you said “no” to the joust.
In that moment you remind me
That I’ve been saying “yes” for too long–
That the song they want me to sing is sweet
When mine is more like a shriek–
That they want me to run away and hide,
But I can fly–
That the Hollister cologne
And the Listerine that should be on my breath
Aren’t me.
I breathe fire.
I’ve seen death.
I’ve desired things your hero here can’t fathom.
I grab him
And hit him like my Dad hits me.
He sees stars,
And I can’t see a thing–
Not even you.

Your knight–
You know his armor only shines
Because he’s never seen a battle–
Never had something to fight for.
Look at mine.
Look at how the light is absorbed
And not reflected by the dull surface,
Scuffed and scratched from ten thousand tussles
With monsters twice my size
But not nearly as angry.
Whole chunks missing
And now filled with tiny pools of his blood.
Hell, this isn’t armor.
It’s scales,
And I’m no knight.

I’m the dragon,
But I’m yours.

Are you at all inspired by this prompt? Write a little something and link to it in the comments.

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