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Anti-Pastoral for Twenty-Faced Pathogen

Neither rose-apple nor milkweed here only the long con of anger.

By bishnu prasadPublished 2 months ago 1 min read
Anti-Pastoral for Twenty-Faced Pathogen
Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

Neither milkweed

nor rose-apple

in Schenck’s Anguish,

only a murder

of crows sprouting

at the perimeter

of a mother’s

suffering. Nature is

a near synonym

of cruelty—look

how I temple

its impure. Every

year, death-positive.

My kisses are

darts —I sweat

poison too heavy

for oleanders to carry.

In the quiet

of frost, death looks

on, wanting to be

important, & pulls

a lamb’s head

under tires. If not

a metaphor,

then foreknowledge.

As a carpenter, Jesus

made chairs, tables,

shelves—investigating, all

the while, the

role of nails

in forgiveness. In

Schenck’s Anguish, I

mistook a mother’s

roar for a screech.

Neither rose-apple

nor milkweed here,

only the long con

of anger. As if

anger could raise

the dead, stop my liver

from losing color.

I know you are here

for no reason

other than to

make my skull

a flowerpot—amaryllises,

lilies, tulips—

a realm of dread

& decay. As

if my roaring

could still

a cytokine storm.

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