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"OH WATERS, TEEM WITH MEDICINE TO KEEP MY BODY SAFE FROM HARM, SO THAT I MAY LONG SEE THE SUN." - Rig Veda
The bug bites, sunburn, and lost lives
among the hunting party were worth
tagging It, dragging It into the village,
the fuck-me-eyes of our womenfolk
bestowed consequently upon us. Once
the subject of dizzying speculation, It
now paces Its cage before us, spits fire
through the bars, and without qualm
diddles Itself in front of us. Alas, we have
Its best interest at heart, someone else
would’ve caught It eventually, someone
unenlightened, whose captivity practices
would be doubtless less humane. Three
squares and a monthly sacrifice, statues
in Its image, and a zealous commitment
to translating Its snarling into order-
espousing parables are but a few of the
luxuries It will enjoy as our prisoner.
The meek shall inherit the job of creeping
into the cage to clean it when It sleeps,
and entrance into the diamond-studded
palaces of the afterlife should It wake.
Holding in my left hand an apple;
they told me it was naturally grown.
No sprays. Or if sprayed,
the spray’s not as deadly as some;
the skin, red as a Vermont
sunset in late summer,
when something, insects, pollution,
thickens the lower layers of air
and the light shifts to deep red,
slanting up from the rim of the world
that slopes downhill from us and then
the entire mountain and valley are bathed in it.
As if the sun is a giant ruby—
a jewel like Betelgeuse.
All this while, I am eating the apple;
its insides glowing
like the summer sun that rises
at the edge of morning.
A crisp yellow-white,
full of miracles;
eating its moderately poisoned fruit,
in this careless moment,
in this careless moment of life.