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Areopagus

There is no waking without him.
The creases in your sheets remind you
his job is to mess with your life. He stalks you
into the kitchen where the coffee splashes your hand
then flings you to the cold baptism of the faucet.
No, you will not forget him when he swerves you to the edge
of the snow bank and overrides your heartbeat,
when he hunts you down with "morning by morning
new mercies I see," the rhythm cutting
your thoughts like a blender's metallic pulse.

You wish he never knew that sometimes
you want to grip a god you can leave behind,
the cool bronze calves of a statue
you can visit in a temple down the street,
a straight-faced fellow happy with an offering
of a charred bird or two. You could finally be alone
with your luxurious fears, escape into the woods
without his breath blowing the leaves into your path,
the expectant open fields of his hands
waiting for you to swipe in your crumbs.