Genevieve Taggard, “To the Powers of Desolation”
O mortal boy we cannot stop
The leak in that great wall where death seeps in
With hands or bodies, frantic mouths, or sleep.
Over the wall, over the wall’s top
I have seen rising waters, waters of desolation.
From my despair bibles are written, children begotten;
Women open the wrong doors; men lie in ditches retching,
The horrible bright eyes of insanity fix on a blue fly,
Focus, enlarge. Dear mortal, escape
You cannot. I hear the drip of eternity above the quiet buzz
of your sleep.
The waters are pouring, boiling over the wall; at the door
Where murder is under way they fall knocking on silence.
Go, that we may not hunger any more,
Or repeat again the wild ritual, the pang;
I will lie face downward In an oblivion of waters,
Weeping in no way except in these words,
Caring then for nothing; for the blue wasp in the dabble
of blood, perhaps, only,
While the slow waters pour.