A safeword? Let me see now, I don’t think he ever
really had one as such, just a bunch of stuff
that meant ‘More’, ‘Yeah’, ‘Keep going’ or ‘Harder,
much harder’, or so we thought, it wasn’t easy

to tell through all that leather, and the collar didn’t help,
plus, he went in for it, nonsense, you know that.
It’s possible, I mean, it’s just possible that the opposite
was true, that every other word meant ‘Stop’, or ‘Help’,

or the closest thing to it in Edward Lear’s world,
but I don’t remember the preliminaries, I don’t
remember what was said, only what was done.
There are some, some who say his safeword is sacred,

some who say its strange music would stop anything
in its tracks, eliminate all manner of horseplay
on God’s earth, could we but summon it, rest it free
from the dark joys of those times; some who say

it would pacify a mob, placate a president, not just
end the pain but heal the scars, could we but muster
its lost syllables, but it’s gone, gone now,
if it ever truly existed, so we carry on as before,

in the full knowledge that what’s to come shall
easily exceed what has been, going back for more
on the 1st of each fresh month till the appetite
wanes or the suffering ceases, whichever’s the sooner.