Out of the Wastelands

It has been a long time since I believed
wholly in the benevolence of angels

or of gods— at least, the kind pictured in clean
smocks, with pale, unblemished skin and haloes

of unearthly light. I say unearthly because they
bear no trace of the blight of our earth, no soot-

stains, no recent images of fires or floodwaters  
roiling in their eyes. I wonder if they know 

what a food desert is, or if their fingers
have ever touched a milkweed frond,

or grazed the wings of migrating monarchs.
The Angel of History, on the other hand,

is whipped to a frenzy by a great wind.
His garments are in shreds, but he shows

how to sift through the rubble of everything 
that once was shiny and new or came with

insurance or a lifetime guarantee. It's no use crying, 
and it's no use saying if only. But you can fish 

garbage out of the water, tend to plants 
and trees confused by weather. It isn’t 

 to point out the broken. Ask how 
to salvage the seeds and pieces still of use.   

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