Sartre and De Beauvoir

The pact that freed her
of old expectations, of acting
in her outdated role,
was the pact she lived by.
She was poised and elegant,
eyes in control,
not delicate or timid,
but actual, alive.

So love became a game,
a play, a cabaret.
Each act came and went,
each lover swept the stage.
But never again did the desirous
duet unite on the scene,
but played a game of copycats,
in the name of being free.

And she was
so beautiful, so seductive
in her charms.
Her mind more than equaled
her elegance and her grace,
always two steps ahead,
save in one place.

Her heart was never conquered more—
though none could catch her mind—
than in the only one who held her soul,
who would not keep it close to his,
but dropped it in his coffee,
casually drinking it,
as if unaware of her there.
And, finished with his drink, he absently
put out his cigarette
in the last drops that remained
of her heart.

So it was that freedom pact
became her prison,
and her captor no less pretending
than the waiter in the bistro.
For in the end, she lost her soul
in a coffee cup,
and after all the intrigues,
she was no more his
than the many blondes
he’d taken to bed.

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