A Leper’s Lament

David D’Ettore


I need not the light of a new day to make me brazen.
The pains and trials of all my yesterdays
Have rendered me a child of Evil;
The Prince you know as Satan;
The Lucifer my people know as King.
Not so fortunate
To rule the Stygian kingdom,
But rather, forced to unveil my evil ways
and wretched life
Upon this poisonous pill,

Yesterday, my face beamed
With the light of a thousand stars,
One yesterday much too long ago.
I often dream when that pleasant past
Of sunshine,
And peace,
Mirrored itself as now.

When will that treasure again be mine?
Shall misery always woo me,
And lull me with the Siren’s song
That seemingly befalls me,
No man else?

Yet, why do I continue to ponder?
The flesh is now,
And it is this leprous corpse
That pains me
And frequents the Devil Earth
That has become my grave.

I must maintain my identity,
I cannot deny my freedom,
I must maintain my sanity!
Is it insanity?
My mind cannot be afflicted
As well as my body!
With what shall I fight off the vultures
That strive to tear deep into my flesh
As my final breath warms the air?
Why shouldn’t I fill the crusty Earth
With a venom of satanic misdeeds?
Who can stop me?

No, not you.
Don’t think to lay the hand of Goodness upon me.
For I will control,
And infest your body
If such a guileless foe
As Hope
Tries to veil itself as a curing hand.
Yours it will be to wallow lower than me.
Yours it will be to call me Lucifer,
For you will inherit the Evil that is my fate.
You will know it soon.
You will feel it crawl upon you,
Day by day,
Infecting your being
Until the again hungry vultures
Gnaw at your half-eaten form
As your final breath warms the air.

Yield, you fool!
You have encountered
That which will rule your destiny.
The touch was fatal, not magic!
For Hope reads not the daily gospel,
But teams with its sister,
To capture even the most ardent believers.
Yet, you yield not!
Is it I who yield?

To a dream!
It must be the dream
That has often clouded my mind
And massaged my soul.
The dream that flows
With the utopian waters
Bathing my body in the delight
Of earlier times;
With the fullness and unity
That are the right of every man.
A dream, yes,
Though I hope not insanity.
I feel the freedom of choice,
And I choose sanity.
I prefer the serenity of dreams
And the mythical relief that inhabits them.
If only reality could dream as I do…



David D’Ettore  was born in Rochester, NY and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages & Communications. He studied as part of the university’s international program in Angers, France and returned to live in Paris, France where he nurtured his love for writing and painting. He completed the Writer’s Digest Writing to Sell Fiction course with Paul Darcy Boles and Mort Castle as instructors as well as James Patterson’s Master Class. He has completed two novels, DELUSION and ENIGMA; a parody entitled POOR DAVID’S ALMANAC; a collection of short stories, MOMENTS OF OUR LIVES; a memoir, MY LIFE’S WORK; a poetry collection IN SHADOWS AND SMILES; and a multitude of essays. One of his short stories, “THE LAST TIME I SAW MY FATHER,” merited Honorable Mention in a recent contest by Glimmer Train, and another, “FALLEN LEAVES,” was part of a collection of stories generated through Master Class. You can read more in his blog, DD’s Blog Universe at www.domingnd71.wordpress.com. “A LEPER’S LAMENT” is part of the IN SHADOWS AND SMILES collection.