Let there be a soul.
Ask; ask and you will be (for)given.
You will learn too late that heaven
is wide enough even for your vast
smallness of spirit. No one stands
on death's edge with clenched hands,
gripping a lifetime's unpardoned past;
the trick, apparently, is in the release.
But what of it, being brought to my knees
now scraped and sorry and in the dirt?
I am Wystan's swept up wood (Nothing
now can ever), no closer to becoming,
in matters of (im)mortality, an expert.
I did not know this love was but for rent.
And I, pauper of heart, unqualified to extend
its lease, will pay in pain's aching currency
the gaping debt I owe. Having to believe
in time is a necessity; having to grieve
not always so. Be it for an estimated eternity
or some length of passage just under that,
the wait is the death sentence. And yet
the judge is harshest who sits in the mirror;
who has my missing limbs and my chains
and in identical places, my dried-out bloodstains.
And I am the axe-wielding manslaughterer
hoping for parole.
By Michelle TanQLRS Vol. 10 No. 3 Jul 2011