Equus Dei

I’ve never had a horse,
but I’ve ridden a mule.
It bucked and bruised my
cranial bone—not badly.

It happened in Mexico
where—un año después
another mule injured my
mother’s ribs and jaw.

She said the mule could
have killed her; said she
saw an angel and felt it
roll her out of harm’s way.

I’ve never seen an angel,
but I’ve felt the divine—
the year before, in fact,
on another trip to Mexico,

when I came across a host
of mountainside fireflies:
a sight I’ll always treasure.
I’d like to meet an angel,

actually, and ask it why,
in Revelation, the exiled
author writes seriously of
the wrath of the lamb:

a ridiculous image in a book
filled with impressive ones—
grim horsemen, diluvian dragons.
The apostle might as well talk of

la ira del burro—at least
then I could picture it.
Hell, I could feel that.
So then, dear angels,

why do you seem to care
about mothers’ ribs but
not that children grow up
believing in bad poetry?


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