One always wants it more –

the other has to choose, perhaps

pities their needy, insecure


partner, or coldly slams the door

shut, conscious cruelty kidnaps

suckers who’ll want it even more.


Look closer – you’ll perceive the core

has deeper, darker, complex traps.

Pity your lover as insecure


and under a pitiless, iron law

your licence to attract will lapse –

then you’re the sap who wants it more


sensing but struggling to ignore

that even in bed you’re being fed scraps

of pity, for the insecure


while your adored will soon adore

a heart more firmly under wraps,

become the fool who wants it more,

whose loop in hell is now secure . . .  

First published in Snakeskin 243, September 2017