by Michael Pollick

and with each passing day
he shoulders the weight,
as if he were the only strongman
left in his own heart's circus-

there will be more stiff breezes,
and more Spring blankets to chase;
but there will be no more Maggies
to catch them on the fly.

and with each passing year
he cradles the memories,
as if he were the only gatekeeper
left to tend the garden.

there will be more silent dances,
and more Summer chances to take;
but there will be no more Maggies
to seal them up good and proper.

and with every passing moment
we carry the burden of proof;
as if we were so immune
to such as such...

Flesh and Principalities

Pilate is doomed to clean his rifle forever-
The walls will not forget these nights.

If you decided to brave the waters of sanctioned terror,
Be sure to wear your Christ;
Should you decided to share your scraps
of hard-won Gospel,
Sharpen your sword against the bars.

Our hearts are forced to cry out
for the rocks that bury you,
We cannot hid in the folds
of our Thanksgiving dinners,
The building fund will not spare you
one ounce of punishment,
If it would mean your freedom,
we can live without the carpeting.

And you who would keep our brothers
far from their families,
I would not get so comfortable-
The God I choose to serve has been
moved to righteous anger,
You will not treat His children like cattle.

(Author's personal note to those
who find comfort in repression:

While you were so busy filling
your filthy holes with saints,
I did a little work on your geography-

All your misguided roads now lead to Damascus.)


I see in her mottled skin
such visions
of dishwater pain,
The desperately overturned
second-hand furniture,
stripped bare of our lunch money.

Here in the crispest of mornings
lies purpose- in oatmeal, in Praise the Lord,
in sitting still while the tea boils;
Here in the emptiness of my third grade,
she is free to be trapped in polyester,
Free to consider all the worlds
her hands have had to make.

(He is a forgetful bastard this morning,
All caught up in his steering gears
Without a drop of change.)

So this is what warmth can be,
as we huddle by the gas oven for heat,
and stare holes through the blue flames.

She is not my mother this morning,
She is a scalloped-skinned mutt,
Carefully trampling down the circles
where she may find tea-stained redemption.

I would tell you more,
but sometimes yellow trucks
stop by,
to rescue small children
from all matters human...