Virtue and Fear
Stare at each other in the mirror,
They feed upon & tease each other
Until neither one remembers what it used to be.
That mirror’s name is Vanity,
It can make a body live in harmony
With an improbable costume
Or it can make life hell,
A reflection of itself that is less than
Either extreme: divinity or banality.
Time does not, however,
Pander to faith’s creation.
Thus if & when
God admires a loving-glass,
Be he drunk or vain,
It’s said he sees the Devil there,
And when the Devil does the same
He enjoys a God.
In their conceit, each sees
Believes & acts the Other.
They are in spirit, each other,
They kiss, and two skulls
Wrapt in strained and stained habits
Of anthropoid flesh
Are thus made One.
As Judas was Jesus’s need,
The dubious act he requisitioned, to be or not
The seed in history
From whence a world evolved to doubt; and
That such a question continues
It was never any different.
A most intimate lipskin
Seals this secret:
God betrayed the devil with a kiss because
He loved him,
If only as a notion.
And the sky cries with this searing, this long & loving
Of apprehension, until at last—
A bridge of sighs.
And that fragile speed between enemies
Now seems forever tied on a tether of bliss
As lovers must forever part, their lips racing fast away
From that vaguest of cosmic decimal points:
Our defiant affection.
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