How in the world could he not love her?
No one else loved blood
as much as he did, but her:
scores of lovers, spurned,
opening their veins in despair
for what they could not have:
love and passion’s ultimate offering.
And millions of hearts
where love is turned to hatred:
The opposite of love is not hate,
Beauty such as hers is deadly, always:
as bright as a sword’s blade,
fierce as Greek fire,
sharp as a sword’s point:
beauty to die for.
The Lord of War does not love much–
oh, passion he knows, war is all about passion,
but love? Blood and bodies,
weapons and wrath,
but that tenderer emotion is
all but a stranger to him.
Save for her.
Never has she asked him to give up his zeal–
never asked him to foreswear
the slaughter, the battles,
the bloodied steel, the corpses.
She understands the love of that
which makes one’s heart sing,
no matter whether it is her bourne or no.
That is her power, then:
that she could make even him know love,
of all those in the world–
he whose being is entirely devoted
to the ending of life,
rather than the act that creates it.
And in that, he acknowledges
which of them is more powerful.