You demanded that I write for all to see just why you are and will always be better than me, giving me a month in which to compose such an earnestly self deprecating document. Here it is and posted on the very same night, because if there is one thing you’re not good at it’s providing an impossible task. It’s not such a difficult thing to pen, but you do better me at optimism where this is concerned.
We raced. I lost. Your horse was the faster, your unseating hand the faster. You aren’t a better horseman than I am, but you are better in many more disciplined and infinitely more composed and clever ways. I shall yell to the stars - in fact, you’ve already heard me and no, I won’t stop - that you can and do and have and will better me in a thousand ways which surpass this recent equestrian victory. I can even do it without resorting to mere blather and lies. Of course, as the months tick away bloodlessly, the tone may well change, but as the better fiend you are no doubt prepared for every unraveling eventuality and will take the raw delirium in your stride. Is that mine or yours? I’ll bow to your judgment on that since you’ve obviously foreseen more than I have.
The world knows you are patient where I am not, consider what I do not, think where I act, wait where I charge on. I’m sure these very qualities will serve you best in the coming months. I know the caliber of your strength, which is a different quality of fortitude from my own, less lauded, less recognized but in no way inferior despite being quieter, more predictable and often more reasonable. Ha. You have never sought oblivion in the earth as I have. Yet. You have never forgiven any slight, nor forgotten past transgressions, which smoldering memory has now prompted to lay down my present forfeit.
I have not forgotten the year which is the spur to this reprisal, nor the furious sense of humiliation you endured at my hands so much better than I am about to at yours. Or at least I won’t accept it in a spirit of willing abandon. You always did that best of all.
To the victor, the spoils.
How do you best me, let me count the ways.
You best me in the depth and breadth and height
Your soul can reach, surpassing my own - bright
With fairly won exultance for a race.
You best me at the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by moon and candle-light.
You best me always, in your strive for right;
You best me purely, in museful malaise
You best me with eroding passions used
On ancient spites, and dreaming mortal faith.
You best my unrestrained ardor diffused
By common sense, --- You best me with red chains,
Promises, privations --- though now I lose,
I shall but best thee when we race again.