Monday, April 04, 2005

The Last Desperate Heaven

It doesn't matter that the heroic mantle
is thrown over a titmouse. Remember
that sage cricket? Heroism
isn't measured in round numbers,
or square roots, or triangulations.
Maybe rhomboidally, but that's a different
heaven. Not the one waiting for secular
humanists, not that greasy spoon,
shadow-lit with cracks in the plate
called "pie." Tell me where
good soldiers and their horses
go when they are cut down,
not the name, the smell of the place.

After all the fuss, Tut died of infection,
not the treasonous blow to the back
of the head while spotting a recumbent
lion half-hid in the tawny reeds cleaning
its left paw in the lambent glow of ancient gods.

Come back to where? I never left.
Nope, didn't budge. Didn't sow my oats
with spread wings while seeing the world
from the exiled-point-of-view.
I've been here the whole time so I wouldn't
have to find my way back through all that mess.

Are you god? I asked the mouse brandishing
a flaming sword. No, he answered. Are you?
Let me! he implored, and plucked out my eye,
holding it very close to his own as his moony
whiskers loosely swept the air around him.
It's flawed! he screeched unbecomingly.
It's flawed! he repeated in ecstacy.
I began to feel miffed. What do you want?,
I asked, taking back my eye. Love
and cheese, he said, all a-droop.
Love and cheese. A mouse can dream,
can't he? CAN'T HE?
Now it was his turn to pout.

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