the guilty reek with noxious innocence

reveling in their shielding shame

while the dark one—the one with the chip—

serves as the convenient object of their disaffection

and their inability to fight clean and fair

fair: a word that is twistable, bendable

and unyieldingly rigid on the tongues of the guilty

or the innocent, or the object

a threat perceived and real and fantastical

expressing wounds impervious to healing

and the rotten distrust of self