Sunday 4 June 2023

The Best of Them

by Nick Gisburne

He clutches at the needles in his neck.
No doubting it: a state assassin’s work.
With each of them discarded on the deck,
He notices another telling quirk.
The puncture wounds are cold as ice, and yet
His body burns, with waves of blazing pain.
He knows the taste, the poison in the sweat,
The grim, aquatic venom in the vein.
The boat he chartered speeds towards the shore,
Its captain, he presumes, already dead.
Before he fades, a final twist, one more:
The antidote. He feels its welcome spread.
    The killer of a killer saves his life.
    He taught her well, the best of them, his wife.