Good year to have a job
like monger, wear a cloak,
be alopecic, strafe the heath
in a bird mask lancing boils.
Sometimes we get born tailed.
We squirm loose gap-toothed
with a neck mole tossing its locks
in the wind, with a cloudy eye that leaks,
in an epoch immune to our beauties.
I’d have been radiant in a robe.
My hair shirt would’ve hung just so.
With a rosary of bones, with a brain
full of Greek, drawing elegant Os
in a fat tome’s margins. So
it goes. Now it’s now—I’m told
be well, be happy, like happy
isn’t its own strict king
called God. It is. It wasn’t
always so: with some plague
for perspective, a damn-serious dusk;
A rat to share your dinner with;
A flea. Each night the sun
snuffed out—a torch.
It boiled a far-off sea.