The Undertaker’s Understudy

Call down the blessings, bring up the fire,
coerce chaos to coalesce with
my cause, this working out, this getting
off, draws on gods whose offerings through

us want what we give to be what they
get, respect which turns hearts to water
in the hands of just one, no other,
palms pressing between flesh spirit as

if divinity were a grove of
olives burning under the sudden
dusk of our mortal touch, begotten
heathens jealous of no one but one

another’s guardian deity,
belief itself a commodity
wanted when, colder than easy cash,
hardening hearts faster than money

buried in a garden & forgotten
turns to ash, envy burns away, chars
to wilting grey scrolls of sweet greenleaved
victory prematurely furled in

again, a doll’s idolatrous smile
until its chagrin grimaces guilt
without warning, storming consciousness
with bouts of sting, bites of stung, teaching

consequence, a lesson by which one
becomes the loathsome example, low
in the heresiarchy of loss,
the undertaker’s understudy

learns to lie to oneself to be more
like their boss, feigning cluelessness when
it comes to having to face for once
your maker, unprepared for the cost.