TITLE: The Mercenary

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Firefly belongs to the great and glorious Joss, the poem is based on one by Michael Ondaatje

A/N: Had a lot of fun writing the Firefly version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, and thought I'd try my hand at another poem. This one is by Michael Ondaatje, it is called The Cinnamon Peeler. I've just played with it to try and fit my favourite Firefly couple, please let me know what you think. If you're a lover of poetry I suggest giving it a read, it is truly beautiful. Contemplating making this a series of love poems adjusted for our favourite couple - any thoughts?

If I were your mercenary,

I would ride your bed,

And leave the smudging streaks of gun oil

On your pillow.

You slender neck and shoulders would reek of metal conditioner,

You could never float through our ancient ship

Without the profession of my fingers,

Announcing my claim over you. The preacher would

Wax lyrical of special hells when you approached,

Though you may dance

In the rain, laughing.

No amount of simple water would deny the smell,

The heady perfume of weapons.

Here on your dancer's thigh,

Under silken skin,

Or through the chocolate waves down your back. Ballerina ankles.

You will be known throughout the verse,

As the mercenary's wife.

I can hardly glance at you

On ship

Never touch you

Our keen nosed Captain, your shielding brother.

I washed my hands

In whisky, rinsing away the oily truth of my life's work,

Helped cook protein in too much spice.

Must cover up the scent I could leave.

On Persephone once

I touched you in a river, loving your namesake,

And our bodies remained free,

I could stroke you and not leave,

The greasy marks of my trade.

You stepped away and glared,

Brown eyes blazing.

"This is how the pilot touches the warrior woman,

Or the Captain caresses the incensed goddess.

The Doctor and his sweet bride clutched tight in their sterile chamber."

And you ran those thin hands down thinner arms,

Searching for the missing tattoos of my trade,

And you knew; what good is it to be the warrior woman or the mechanic,

Left with no trace,

As if not displayed to all as lover and loved,

The scent and smudge of oil.

You touched

Your porcelain breasts to my darkly calloused hands,

In the recirculated air of our home, and said;

I am the Mercenary's wife.

Smell me.