Under Kiai

He broke in my soul,

Played the loot,

The petty thief stole

And I took no pursuit.


I’d learned defense,

The jab and trance,

But not the pretense

Of the offensive stance.


I dropped my guard

Scuffled my feet

Over the shards

Of my parried retreat


And he knew me, or else

He got lucky, I guess,

To read my tells

To let me confess


Secrets and sabotages.

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