Suppose the angels laid
down their flaming swords,
weary of guarding all those
gleaming gates, the blocked
avenues of paradise, bitten
fruits banishing us into an oasis
of free will and sin. Outcasts,
we’ve learned to be generous
even in our falling. Dying’s
our destiny, sure, but killing’s
our most stalwart talent—
shrapnel shredding limbs,
blood impossibly coagulating
on busy streets. So suppose
no one took up that mission
and we all waited for death
to track us simply through arteries
and years. Old bullets embedded
in concrete bunkers, virgin
bullets poised in magazines—
we could wrench these
into spring air, meld them
into interlaced vessels perfect
for scooping up riverwater
and ladling it over some ordinary
tree’s thirsty roots. In our guilt
and innocence we could marvel
at the smoothness of metal,
disband the phalanx assaulting
the garden. Those steadfast angels
could forget about justice
and exile, rub the eternity
out of their starlight hallelujah
eyes, and go for a nice walk. 

(originally appeared in Atticus Review)