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Michael by Luca Giordano

do I thank you angel
for having guarded my heart?
or do I thank you devil
for tearing me apart

to see all I really needed
was a rebel to save me
and eye-swords which probed
the soul for its vanity

angels had me asking
for hymns of abandon
angels had me dreaming
of flowers for Algernon

to find the silver knives
I sharpened all night
their dagger daze removed
from the devil’s—my own—sight

nights under the sheets
cloaked in neon pursuit
hollow feathers of flight
returned me to the black truth

to know my native hands
could not hold a stranger’s
if they had held others
spine and skin all tethered

in her arms all restless
getting used to questions
getting used to the peace
of purer intentions

to hear the sadness
the sound of purged sins
see the machines of men
in torrents now clean