Thursday, February 10, 2011

This crime more ancient than the mariner's

Albert Ross was at a loss.
He couldn’t gloss
over the dull fact hanging
lifeless like the near-homophone
about his neck.
It’s a pretty neck,
this long and slender neck,
with the impeccable lines of its smooth cylinder
broken only by a smallish apple.
Eve would’ve refused it.
To sea. To sea.
There he’d see
with its wide vistas
the feathery visage of this polar white
visitor riding astride his black cloud.
“Rain, would it please you to rain?
Are you allowed
to open up and drown me?”
Is how he’d phrased it
in his mind, countless times.
The hardest rain would be welcome,
but this constant threat,
this ponderous yet,
this threaded pendant swinging
as fast and steady
as a winged pendulum might,
was not. It tightened,
that knot deep in the pit of his stomach.
He’d done no harm.
Harm wasn’t his to do,
or undo. The harm came before,
at the hands of a father,
who gave him such
an ill-spoken name,
and the Father before him.
He, ages before him,
deigned to make us this world
where a bird’s no more
than a bird or any man
with the want of a soul.
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