The Unfortunate Centurion

The Art of Mourning
March 27, 2013
The Address of Mr. Lincoln
April 6, 2013

I am the Captain of the Slip:
Through soiled hands shaking iron against bone
with hammer volleys wind to wind;
One pinion in, the other waiting for a polemic drive
to hang the torpid skin—until the sun
heaves and we have death’s awkward end.

I would that I had made the pounding fierce,
that mythologists might tell me as a David to the days
But I am the one who climbed the scaffold
with a torture at my soul: no human nails
to a rest who cannot handle first the mallet and the mission.
So there I was and twice deserving death
When Nature’s clocks struck three—
once for churning up the bright red blood of God,
and again for when the blood poured out and not
enough of God was hung.


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