Saturday, June 10, 2006
I am an angel. I live in outer space but you call it
Heaven. I sit immobile but you think I have wings.
Though I watch your every move, I have no stake
in your health or happiness. Though I manifest
my being in every moment of your lives, my actions
are petty and trivial. When you walk through the park
on the first warm day of spring, I’m the force
who makes the pigeon shit on your head.
When you sit in a stall in a public restroom
I’m the power who makes the toilet paper disappear
at the moment you’re ready to wipe.
I’m the desire that drives the cute little five year old
to give you the finger when you smile at him.
I am the knowledge that no matter what line
you pick at the supermarket it will be the slowest.
I am the reason Celine Dion is a huge star, the reason
your penis is two inches long, the reason your breasts
are as flat as the Great Plains. I am the bitter aftertaste
in sugar substitutes, your morning hangover. I am dandruff,
an ingrown toenail, a speck of dust in your eye, a pebble
in your comfortable new shoes. I am the fitful sleep in which
you dream and find yourself falling from a mountain.
I am the revelation in which you discover that you are
neither great nor original but empty-headed and common.
As for those greater catastrophes, those fatal accidents,
those terminal diseases, poverty, war, and famine, I stake
no claim. I compose neither good nor evil, justice nor injustice,
but convenience and inconvenience. All my works are shallow and trite.
I am merely an attendant, serving the way I was meant to serve.
following the orders of a monarch who devotes his time to greater things.
And when sirens echo in the distance I do not hear them.
When rivers overflow I do not see them washing away your cities.
In the beginning was the darkness, then came the light.
Though I am of that light I do not help you see.
And as you walk through your world as if blind, I give you
no hint of what’s to come, no sign telling you to go or to stop—
just an aching in your bones, the self-conscious knowledge
that somewhere, in the middle of this universe,
away from the greatness of kings, you exist.