Three Decades to Millennium


I should tell you a tale of journeying

through three domains to this last place of  departure,

the three principalities

which followed the hardening of my beard

and the softening of my now withered eye.

The first place of self-gratifying is shameful to me now

yet cannot in truth be denied. I find its heart

in youth of my acquaintance

so absolutely sure that significance lies with them

so rapacious, so brazen, so sinister that all is crass,

about filling the gaping maw and scratching the unquenchable itch

with no thought of what is ravished

to what end and what consequence.

Yet these harsh uplands have borders

where the cannibals descend on the city walls for spoil

and are trapped in the snares of the slave traders

and borne to market with coifed head and manicured hand

for sale. I too have stood in line for the fondling of the foreman

and have borne water and hewed wood in acquiescence

because a man must eat and pay the price of eating.

And yet I remained unnourished, my heart longing

for the return to the highlands of the third place

of sincerity but this time transformed, already dead

wanting nothing and serving all.

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