Littleton 4 + 20

may God have mercy on our Souls, she choked
on a voice more like the haggard caw of a crow;
her choice for motion a pair of ragged claws to go
scuttling in sorrow across the deep blue sea floor,

for the violence of this world is anathema to her-
dreadful balance, perfect nautilus shell, shock & raise
nights & days lulled in the restless crests of sanctuary waves
rock her noiselessly into sleep & dream, and plead & praise

to them whom the beloved one descends unto her-
a different kind of poverty now upsets my soul, this heart-
night after sleepless night this unsustained, this tears-&-salt stained heart
mortally wounded in April, cruelest month for faith & love & art;

now the mountains here thrust up high off of endless plain,
heavy darkness of cloud roof shriek & shred
turns timberline to granite and ice fields glacier-fed
tormenting snow upon this city that now buries its young dead:
an avalanche of April covering the trembling, the unknowing dead.

(acknowledgments: T.S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land”; also Stephen Stills, “4+20”)

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