This ash-colored immigrant come
to steal an honest man’s job —
give him the business, why don’t you.
Let every slack muscle learn
what real work feels like,
how it aches & bruises.
Then let him go swimming
with a cast-iron kettle around his neck.
The sanitarium should’ve known better,
trying to hire orderlies from outside.
We’re hungry here.
The sun itself only gets in
a few licks each day,
& the sea eats like a drunk —
a nibble here & a nibble there
to steady itself against the shore.
We’ve all been tenderized.
We marinate in the tall salt cellars —
the rapeseed oil cans —
the cold ovens of our houses,
watch the flickering pilot light
in the corner of the room
& dream of an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Let us pray for the firm
flesh of angels, white,
with eyes that can sprout,
that can finger, that can shove
green fists through the dirt.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- The Book of Ystwyth
- The Grave Dug by Beasts
- The Comfort of Angels Attending the Dying
- The Man Who Lived in a Tree
- The Penitent Roasted by the Sun
- The Barbarian Brought Down by a Lioness
- The Celibate Couple Pursued
- The Righteous Man Surprised by the Devil
- The Beating of the Falsely Accused
- “Tempations of Solitude” series now half as solitary
- The Grave Dug by Beasts (videopoem)
- The Grave Dug by Beasts: a new videopoem by Swoon