On Cruelty

On Cruelty
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audio: On Cruelty
audio of Frederic Kusseler's poem, On Cruelty

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On Cruelty

Shall I be cruel to you, dear?
Shall I be ruthless and austere?
Shall I be blatantly sincere
and tell you that I hurt what I hold dear?

Shall I be gruesomely severe?
Reduce your essence to a tear?
Shall I be everything you fear:
a nine-tailed cat with boots that trample, dear?

My thorny arms will hold you near.
Elicit screams I meet with cheer.
Can I be painfully sincere?
I hunger to be cruel to you, my dear.