79: coma, interlude 14


and why not escape?
Were or are there rumors
of it, during transport maybe,
where the gate crashes down
and elephants, hippos, rhinos
gallivant and crush the tables,
chairs, and bright canopies
of the streetside cafes?

where I raise my hand
against a massive Hammer
and say, It was Henry,
for whom I have a list
of the seven deadly sins
I count and can prove:
gluttony, greed,
sin outofwedlock
under the sheets,
taken under auspice
of irony and blamelessness.

in secret, then?
You keep secret, your list,
your scoresheet,
and will you take back
what I hid in my tent
and stone and burn me
as Joshua did to Achan,
and they stoned and burned Achan’s
sons and daughters
and they stoned and burned
his sheep and they stoned and burned
even his tent
and the gold and the garments,
stoning and burning
the garments and the gold,
two of the elders with stones
stoning the tent with stone
after stone until their hands ached
and the tent groaned a last
dying breath
for the trouble Achan had brought
because it was all his fault
because he coveted?

and then they blamed their god.

as I imagine you will do
when the Hammer smashes
my face, which is the excuse
faith provides like a yellow bud
for the taking, but his secrets
are safe with me, I say,
I say, he’s my friend,
and it would be a strange
day for us all if I even
felt the lure of a stone
and smashed Henry
and his tent with it.

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