by Rob Rice



Finding himself on his knee

For the first time

Communing drunk

With a looming stranger

Whose helper’s motive is likely vanity?


But it could have gone just as easily the other way

That dangerous edge

Of sudden starving


Could have found himself

Snapping like the outing twig in a stalking

A bone not his

Just as easily

He could have


A real random nothing of circumstance

Deciding the difference

Between supplication and sin


Refined crude cowardice

Them equal, inevitable products?

Or one in the other in the

Same translations of the same text

Inscriptions revealed

By a broad and blanket washing

Disinterred and still breathing predecessors

Overtly returned to the wheel


The release-need insists

And mode specificity fails to relate

Apology and attack

As long as exertion

Liberates some fluid like a lancing


There’s no more a man there than before or after

But at a glance a god residually a glint on him

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