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"The Gilded Cage" by Devon Gallant

You can walk in a line and still be lost.

This is the lesson you are here to learn.

Caught in a widdendream you cannot leave,

hoof snagged upon impedimenta, lone

burgess in a pagan locket of love,

a sanguinary fane called ‘labyrinth.’

A prison or palace? This labyrinth

eludes meaning. The narrative lost

amidst the bric-a-brac of peccant love

triangles. Those ‘fizgig-fantasies’ girls learn

from leather-bound mythologies while lone

in the dark. Risen and 'rousened, they leave

in search of a good bovine fuck. They leave

betrothed to a fandangle labyrinth

of their own mazed, mooncalf making. This lone

stud in gilded cage, a pollard who lost

his horns? The incautious dandiprats learn

the hard way the ambuscade of your love.

At night, the moon's visitations: "I love

what you've done with the place, but maybe leave

the bones somewhere less conspicuous? Learn

that, sometimes, less is more. This labyrinth

could use tidying up. No wonder you're lost.”

Though the moon may mock, she is is your lone

confidant and it must be said, that lone

is not none. Even gigolos need love.

You can walk in a line and still be lost.

You can long to escape yet never leave.

This is the lesson of the labyrinth.

It will teach, but are you ready to learn?

It would guide you out, if you would but learn.

Once kept, you are a lothario now lone.

The sanctuary of this labyrinth

a hollow contour of what was once love,

but is no longer. It is time to leave.

Whether out or in, you can still be lost.

The only question, can you learn to love?

Lone citizen of a gilded cage, leave

this labyrinth, it is time to get lost.

Devon Gallant is the author of four collections of poetry: The Day After, the flower dress and other lines, His Inner Season, and most recently S(tars) & M(agnets). His work has been featured in Vallum, Graphite Publications, Carousel Magazine and elsewhere. He is the founder and publisher of Cactus Press, the editor of Lantern Magazine and the co-host of Accent, a bilingual poetry series based in Montreal.

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