The Death of Angels


This is just to say that I

have lost my belief in angels,

having been singed by their burning wings

as they fell

I found one

impaled in the tree

she had the face of an old friend who betrayed me


Perhaps I threw her out of a plane

perhaps she grew ill in mid-flight

dropping altitude, crashing

into telephone wires like a kite


I find them everywhere,

withering in the barn,

in the chaff, like moths on their backs

gilt peeling from their wings

rendered half- human

when they cast their scapegoat

out of heaven.


As they were succumbing

one by one in my winter garden

it fell to me to forgive

and rescue them where they lay


I could have given them mouth

to mouth, brought them water


But this I refused to do–

It was judgment day for all of us

I exulted,

watching them fade like fireflies,  one by one

to be honest,  in several cases

I even set them on fire:


Here is your suttee now, young widows

of God:

Go now back to time’s edge

where you were first given wings

First sent

to delude the world.