The Persistence of Work
They sent me away for 13 years, come back after the Fall, they said,
try writing more like us. Deadly universalists, I scribbled on in spite of them.
My arm lost its joints. I strapped an eagle feather to my hand and
instructed my keepers to secure me in a chamber. Do not let me out,
I said, even if I beg.
I am not finished but I am cooked. My keepers disappeared long ago, they left the door open
and fled like wraiths into the night. I never forgot my yearning and this has kept me alive.
All the years of captivity, free not-free, I bled from the shards of my broken heart.
It has cleansed me.
I wrote prayers: black fire on white fire. Wherever I have been I have left shoes.
A razor shall not pass over my head until the completion of my days of abstinence,
and I will thank my keepers (if I see them) for their universal inclinations
that made revenge a good word.