The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

She will die.
If I do not act,
She will die.

I did not mean to love her.
At first,
I only gazed upon her,
Then I desired her,
I sent for her,
I lay with her.
I did not mean to love her.

He is a good man,
A good soldier,
A good officer.
She is his.
She carries my child.
He has been in the field,
He has not lain with her.

She will die.
If I do not act,
She will die.

It is not too late,
I will send for him.
What man will not lay with his wife?
What man,
After months in the field,
Will not embrace life,
After swimming in death?
He will lay with her.

None but G-D will ever know.

I did not mean to love her.
I can not let her die.

He is a good man,
A good soldier,
He will not sleep in a soft bed,
Will not lie with a woman,
While his men are in the field.
He sleeps in the palace gates.

I want to say,
“His righteousness is killing him!”
But it is my weakness.

I did not mean to love her.

I will be safe,
She will not reveal her lover.
But to see her,
Brought down by stones.
Not a single stone,
As the wolves of my youth,
As Goliath.
But stone after stone,
Bruising,
Breaking,
Bleeding,
Before darkness takes her.

Oh G-D,
Why must I love her!

I will hold a feast for him,
I will ply him with wine,
Drunken,
He will go home,
He will lie in her bed.

He is a good man,
A good soldier.
Even drunk,
He will not benefit from rank,
He will not take what his men cannot have.
He sleeps in the palace gates.

She will die.
If I do not act,
She will die.

I fear,
More than wolves among the sheep,
More than going out alone against the giant,
More than when I fled Saul.

If I do this thing,
Will I become like Saul?
Cut off from joy,
Condemned to darkness,
To a descent to madness,
Ending in despair,
On my own sword.

She will die.
If I do not act,
She will die.

So be it.
A good man’s death,
A fool’s madness.

Trembling,
I write the orders.
Two sacrifices.
One offered on the altar of war,
One offered on the altar of despair.

If only she can live.
I did not mean to love her.

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