On whether to divulge a secret - Luke Bateman
The nuclear detonator is the Send button for a text
Filled with previously unspoken truth.
My finger hovers over it, critically aware of the devastation it will reap
Unsure of the consequences unforeseen
On the one hand, he deserves betrayal. He really does.
He knows how to push the buttons
He dances an unholy dance like the figure in a jewellery box
Constantly revolving above a bed of diamonds
Perhaps unaware, perhaps uncaring
And all the while that clockwork rotation whips up a maelstrom
And the world around him falls through the cracks.
He is but inconvenienced
On the other hand, if I click that button
I take away the certainty of his future
Perhaps the only certainty he has.
I put him on a new course he will not be aware of, I make him nothing.
I am become Death, destroyer of worlds
His world, in particular, and all the frail cross woven branches he interlaces himself with.
All I know is that both our hands drip red
And that to wash them cannot remove the stain
I sit, aflurry, amongst the shrieked birdsong of hawks and doves
I can see him begging for mercy where he wouldn’t give it and I feel anger
We have talked ourselves to a point where obliteration is the only path
What he needs is love but he is unloveable
And I do not have the capacity of heart to break this cycle
And so I sit, finger hanging like the sword of Damocles,
knowing that if I condemn or if I condone,
either way the dust clouds roll
And in the second where I curse my empathy, I know I have lost.
Luke Bateman is a nineteen year old poet and history student from Lancashire, UK. His poetry, fiction and academic writing has featured in the Oxford Review of Books, the Broad Street Humanities Review and Glitchwords, amongst others. Links to all his writings can be found here: linktr.ee/lukebateman