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Poetry

No second chances, because we just don’t
listen. Malachi had the right idea:
burn us all, root and branch. A wineglass moans,
in sympathy to some fustian screed

in the far-flung skies and the best we can do
is pour it full with weeping and disdain.
That’s the sound of vexed, my friends, pas de deux
of pissed-off and pure cities-of-the-plain

petulance, coming to rage burning-bush
through our dreams. Fall asleep in our own thin skins,
nothing borrowed, nothing blue. Never rush
to anything but judgment or to sins

of all the fallen flesh. Drop to our bruised
knees in glad supplication when the rains
finally fall and our tender prospects ooze
gravid from that good mud. A murmured strain

of ghosts will shoal and settle starling-light
into the broken trees on one of any countless nights
and strip us leaves-and-fruit. Be thankful. Bite
our own forbidden bones until they’re bright

enough to rapture. Don’t expect to wake
from this darkness; there’s a reason we’ve been
left here in our simple passions to ache
and squander, and a reason we’re alone.


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