At the inn at the end of the world
Sita kneels at Arthur’s feet,
tangled hair a dark pool against
He has his own lady, and though
it is true there have been nights
when he’d have preferred not to share her,
Gwen has always done her best
to accommodate her king’s desires;
Lance had understood.
What should Arthur do with this beauty,
who wails of love betrayed,
trust shattered, who begs for justice
and vengeance on her faithless lord?
Arthur buys her another drink,
whispers please, my dear, get up.
He wishes Gwen were here; she’s better
at this sort of thing. Love is her department;
smiting is his. The woman weeps
into her beer, cries Ram, Ram, Ram!
Arthur hopes the gods may grant her
an ending that satisfies. He drinks deep
and ponders the mysterious ways of love,
the pathways of storied desire.
Mary Anne Mohanraj