by R.B. Morgan
I live in a nearly empty, dying
It is the unwinding heart of the
Broken hearted country.
It is haunted by love:
The absence, the with-holding, the cruel,
Thoughtless promise of.
Death on cue appears constantly,
An ambiguous art-house character
Either stalking through ruthlessly
Or standing by a window-sill
mild, soft-spoken, determined
To be well dressed and cordial.
It becomes, like love, whatever
We can stand to believe,
Either one great stroke of cancellation
Or an eternity of praise and absolution.
Or neither, depending on
The urgency of our need,
Rising in our memory, an
Ancient predator circling
The antic, screeching troop.
Its close and real menace is
What makes us love, and agonize
For what must be paid
As our own ransom,
The unconscionable price.
As a prisoner of this broad and bleak
History, I am forced to love as some
Are driven to flimsy ceremonies
They don’t, they can’t believe in,
But must cling to with devotion
For the promise of a
A savior and his millennium