“The quality of mercy is not strain’d…”
— “The Merchant of Venice”, Shakespeare
Before snow blew sideways, scattering
crystalline fragments, we held up metal
wires dipped in magnesium, ferrotitanium.
Held to a match, rich white and golden yellow
sparks branched off into the dark. Don’t lend
out any money today, the feast of Niños
Inocentes. Or if you do, don’t count
on getting any of it back. For a second,
think back to the story of soldiers scouring
the countryside for infant boys to slaughter
in their sleep. There is a difference between
naivete and the purely diabolical. Insist
on the former as an undeveloped state
that might yet lead to grace. The deer
might come to lick at lumps of packed
salt you’ve placed at the far end of
the garden. When they do, sit still, just
watch them. I know it’s hard, but hold
your face up to the fading light, mouth
rehearsing the ancient shapes of wonder.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.