They tell me you’re there, all
you would-be witnesses. Clustered
outside the gate. Each of you
clutching your candle
like a little white lie, right hand
cupping the flame,
the hot wax dribbling down the side.
If they’d let me, I’d come out there
& tell you one or two things.
I have done what most men merely
dream about, living proof that life is
a pale, weak thing. I broke the bones
in her face the way you’d ash
out a cigarette. Fear has a smell
like sour milk & it can turn, oh Jesus!
it can turn you so goddamn ugly.
From the moment you slimed your way
into the world, having just fucked
your mother backwards, you were
a creature incapable of innocence,
a pink grub, a howling abyss.
If I had my way there’d be a lethal
injection chamber on every street corner.
They’d be like video games. Only
the truly ruthless would be able
to walk past one without trembling like
a virgin. Those of you with
a guilty conscience would be
the first in line.
Be careful, now – something’s
diving toward the flame.
That’s right, drive it away.
For its own good, little moth.
Deprive it of its final joy.