Suppose the angels laid

down their flaming swords,

weary of guarding all those

gleaming gates, the blocked

avenues of paradise, bitten

fruits banishing us into an oasis

of free will and sin. Outcasts,

we’ve learned to be generous

even in our falling. Dying’s

our destiny, sure, but killing’s

our most stalwart talent—

shrapnel shredding limbs,

blood impossibly coagulating

on busy streets. So suppose

no one took up that mission

and we all waited for death

to track us simply through arteries

and years. Old bullets embedded

in concrete bunkers, virgin

bullets poised in magazines—

we could wrench these

into spring air, meld them

into interlaced vessels perfect

for scooping up riverwater

and ladling it over some ordinary

tree’s thirsty roots. In our guilt

and innocence we could marvel

at the smoothness of metal and water,

disband the phalanx assaulting

the garden. Those steadfast angels

could forget about justice

and exile, rub the eternity

out of their starlight hallelujah

eyes, and go for a nice walk.








Photo by Rob Barber