Dilemmas of the Angels: Desire

By David Romtvedt

Krishna tells her that if she desires
with all her heart, she will get what she wants.
He neglects to mention what she must give up.

Like many people she’s visited the museum
at Auschwitz where the bodies were stacked.
People say like shoes or firewood.

She could undo the Holocaust,
give life back
to the prematurely dead.

She is only an angel, a fly
in the mind of God, infinitely giddy
from the ease of her escape.

Her desire has about as much weight
as a beauty contestant’s longing for world peace,
her dress backless to show off her wings.

Krishna explains that he is a man
whose stage four cancer makes him ultrasensitive
to light so that he can go outside only at night.

When he smiles, the skin tightens on his skull
as if to say it is brevity that fans the fire of desire,
and brevity that is the fire’s consummation.

Categories: Issue 4, Poetry | Leave a comment

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