Jeff Weddle

Ragged Angels
 
Young ones 
in small rooms 
chasing the poem 
chasing the story 
 
going crazy 
 
starving for something 
they cannot name.
 
Drunk 
at noon
and midnight 
and four a.m.
 
Young angels
wandering 
hard streets 
with desperate eyes 
angry 
and in love 
 
lost on the edge 
of nowhere.
Beware them.
They are vast 
and magic 
 
as the moon 
soothes nothing 
as the sun 
burns their eyes 
as the sidewalks 
lie hard 
cracked 
and unforgiving 
beneath 
their holy feet. 
 
They are
explosives
meant
to shatter you 
 
and keep daggers 
hidden 
in worn notebooks 
which you will someday 
plunge willingly 
into your own heart.
 
They need nothing 
you could ever give.
 
Heaven means only
the right words spilling 
from their hands.
 
This is their salvation 
all they ever 
desire.
 
I know them.
Beware.
 
I was once
among their
host.





Advice for Cannibals
 
First of all, no one loves you, 
so don’t expect many 
social invitations. 
 
Bar mitzvahs
weddings
birthday parties
— pretty much anything 
where food is served — 
you can forget about. 
 
No one wants to be reminded 
of your regular menu 
especially when they’re trying to eat.

No one loves you, 
though you are occasionally 
good for a laugh 
if some joker is feeling funny 
and wants to crack everyone up 
at your expense. 
 
Of course, no one is really surprised 
if those people end up gone 
a day or two later 
and you walk around town all greasy 
or gnawing on long bones. 
 
You can forget about women, too, 
unless we are talking ingredients. 
 
I’m sure you understand. 
 
So you’re going to be lonely. 
That’s fine. 
 
Stick to your task. 
Fulfill your purpose.
 
Full pots and roaring fires
sharp knives and axes 
will be your companions.
 
You were born to your nature 
and that’s how the universe likes it. 
 
I cannot speak for the others, 
but I will not blame you 
for long gazes at people 
enjoying their lives. 
 
Your regrets may be profound 
and connections must be taken 
as they come.
 
No one loves you. You know why.
Might as well enjoy the feast.




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