It may be time to go back
to the old gods. Hermes purses
his lips and pulls an asphodel from them,
already on fire. & I see a church
in his newly cupped hands.
So now I am an oracle for the final
age. I haven’t slept in thirty-six hours,
& everything looks like my grandfather’s
hands—two unholy burning stones.
I’ve known catharsis under many names,
& tonight it is my swollen right eye,
violet and violent at 3:00 a.m.
I didn’t sleep well, so I text him
to come over again. I promised to strip
him at the door. I promised to give
my body to his body
so it is not lost again to 4:00 a.m.
When we talk about wrath, we are not
talking about an atom bomb but the bleat
of another post-midnight soul.
I don’t mean to diminish
anyone’s suffering. When I say
I’ve seen a man die, what I mean
is many and always. So I die
over and over, and my fag fathers wait
on me as leather effigies on the edge
of their seats. See, I am a part of a country
that only survives by dropping
hot suns over everywhere else.
My God, my God, my god.
My country, save me from Hermes’s
bouquet. I’m sorry for returning
to the man that called me faggot.
The final age of—I drive
the golden spike between
our split jaw and final confession.
I wanted to write an aubade,
but who has the time to wake so slowly.

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