FOR THE COWS

February 12, 2007 at 2:29pm (Poetry)

God? You asked me who you are.

        “Who do people say I am?”  you said.

Both horse and plough, you are, I said.

Both tiller and the fields you till, you are

to me who counts the numbers on the beast,

and is both least and most.

        Jeezus! Listen to that old fart boast.

I tell you this in confidence:

                                              I’ve warned him; yes, I have.

You must behave,

                               I’ve said,

and let the dead consume their dead, I’ve said.

But does he listen? No.

He only stares ahead and says to me

(or whatever he is staring at I cannot see)

“Will it snow?

                       I like the snow.”

I’m tired now. But sleep eludes me

more and more these days

and nights, too,

and what falls between.

When the voice from underneath the bed has said

“You are dying, Jew;

                                if not already dead.”

And what am I to do?

What am I to say?

What am I to do or say

to silence the speaker speaking under the bed?

To keep him under the bed? Or off the bed?

Shall I say,

                 “Leave me and go haunt the dead?”

Or,  “Don’t mistake me for the dead?”

But there’s no mistake:

we are already dead,

                                    or dieing.

Except the ones whom I admire, who keep on trying,

who keep on searching for desire

in the night dark,

        the bedroom dark,

                the bed dark,

                        behind the eyelids dark.

Trying. trying. trying.

While the rest of us are dieing. dieing. dieing

in the dark,

        the night dark,

                the bedroom dark,

                        the bed dark,

                                behind the eyelids dark.

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