The Pillar Was a Man He Had Been Stretched So Long and Thin


We woke in the dirt in what

Looked like an old west ghost town

Coughing up water the

Kneeling bodies kneel-


ing at the edge of town

Facing away     the cormo-

rant circled overhead

Then     seeing we had woken


Landed between us opened

Its gray beak wide     and barked

And spoke     Before am was

I am     and sought to be


I am and seek to be

And seeking I made you

And all your kind     your kind

My child     for surely mine


My child     for surely mine

My child Hold on a sec

This fucking thing     it al-

ways sticks fuck him the useless


Fuck and the cormorant

Unfurled its metal wings

Took off     and threw itself

Into a pillar growling


That ought     to fucking do
then     the other voice

The human voice inside

The robot bird’s voice shouted


MY CHILD     for surely mine

Best born if not the first

You are     Death came before

And bears the imperfections


Of a first draft my     child

I seek and I have sought

From the beginning to

Help you to grow     if I


Have not seemed nurturing

Know I have striven none-

theless to attend to our

Relationship and would


Not choose if I could choose

To be ignored     Love binds us

Through     I acknowledge     in-

termediaries but


The more tangled the knot the

Stronger it holds     beloved

I welcome you to Hell

As a new mother welcomes


Her child to its life and body

And fear I must apol-

ogize for both I made

You who you are     death-seek-


ing out of pity for

My son     Death     who before

You couldn’t find a job

But surely there are worse


Reasons for being haven’t

You often wished you knew

Whether you were conceived through

A parent’s love     you were


My child     you were     and serve

A purpose     you are Hell

Its living walls     its rivers

You are each other’s flames


In life and in this life

And you will find yourself

Unchanged     but would you know

Yourself if you weren’t burning


Here you will know yourself

I give you nothing else

To know     I grant my wish

For you    to you     at last


You are what you were made for

And moreso what you make

Employment and a home

For the god at the end of the world