poem21 Sep 2020 08:10 am
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun by William Blake

Robert Borski

Because we choose to be the way we are,
as opposed to acceding to biological dictate

or mythic onus, we have been called all sorts
of things — turncoat, vyrmin, gusano, paladinite —

as if to self-identify as alt-dragon disregards
tradition or refutes our natural place in the world.

But qui nocet, as our lawyers like to ask, if
certain members of our kind choose not to eat meat

or abandon the skies; if we deign to wear clothes
or learn the human tongue? Nor do we see the docking

of our wings and tail as crippling or mutilation,
but cautionary (inbred as we are, caudal cancer

still kills too many of us) and thus no more barbaric
than circumcision or other body modification,

from tattoos to piercing. As for why we do
what we do, often-cited answers include

evolutionary fatigue, hormonal drift, toxic
parenting, or morbid attraction to the forbidden,

but the truth is far more simple: we are part of
and subject to the same continuum of desire

as everything else that lives. Yes, my incredulous
friends: even creatures with scales, chilled blood,

and antediluvian genes are capable of ardor.
And though daily we struggle for acceptance,

our long-range hope is this: that someday we
and our Arthurian paramours will be allowed

to walk down the streets unharassed, without
being spat upon or called names, and the world,

despite our long history of enmity, will recognize
and sanctify the union of our two disparate species —

we, the fire-breathing Capulets; they, the lance-
bearing and resplendently-armored Montagues —

for it is not apostasy that flickers in our hearts,
but love. And believe me, it is anything but courtly.




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