For he will give his angels charge of you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
[…]I will protect him, because he knows my name.
—Ps 91:11–12; 141
Dashing my feet against stones
must be some angel whose name
I don’t know, some pit I’ve been
thrown into, some psalm I should
chew on before spitting out
invocations of calm that
someone will hear and come, and
with prayerful tongue dig me out
or dig what I have done and
rush to go under, mining
from hell’s mouth its sardonyx
tar-tinged tablets of grinning
teeth, those dragon’s claws sown deep
by ancients from the days of
heroes, Jason & Medea
later again by cunning
Cadmus, growing to sprout forth
soldiers of words, those enfants
terribles armed with barbed puns and
razor-sharp wit, none have since
battled with, meet me here, near
earth’s bowels, so close we can
hear the planet shit, and go
toe-to-toe on a black floor
the winner polishing it
with the loser’s guts until
oil washes surface and gas-
lights all the normals into
believing they are bringing
about the world’s end instead.
1“Psalm 91 : Assurance of God’s Protection”, Verses 11–12; 14, in “The Psalms: Book IV” of The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and The Psalms: Revised Standard Version: Second Catholic Edition, published at San Francisco by Ignatius Press in 2006; page 636.