Wednesday, April 7, 2010


After John 8:44

The devil and his angels speak
a mouthful of flies,
a bloated roadside body
naked in the foxglove
small bones in the crawlspace,
slow poison in the tea

they laugh when the old woman falls down the stairs
when the egg sours in the nest
when the house burns bright
on an empty road, no bucket brigade in sight

their tongues are razors in feathers
their teeth are stones in honey
their throats are uncovered wells
their hands are ours,

there’s a undiscovered boxcar, on a siding
that is their church today,
tomorrow, the house that is too still,
the newspapers piling up outside the door
tonight, a swarm of beds their altars
and the hissing command of their prayers
will be whispered urgently
into a thousand ears
and war and war and war and profit and mystery

tonight we will raise an abomination of towers
to scrape at the belly of heaven,
the railyard bible flickering
heart diamond cudgel shovel
in an electric sleepless city in the wasteI
tonight we will listen to the buzzing of flies
in a thousand blue boxes,
satellites that spin above
the tired old dusty earth

tonight doom will be augured
in a flight of birds, in haruspices
tomorrow the tornado hits the trailer park,
the father’s heart gives out
the city walls break before the flood
the fire comes, cleaning nothing

this jeweled crown of America,
this maze of merciless cities and highway
this drowned kingdom

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