Duane Esposito

I’m not concerned by the politics of honor.
I don’t care if you don’t believe in what I do.
Is it confusion? Is it power? Is it worth asking

at what hour I’ll lie down to die? On what day?
& who will surround me? & where will my mind be?
& why won’t the soul & celebration exactly measure?

Let me be plain. When I stare at the few visible stars,
they tell of the blast of our lives, this love & faith’s
a rigorous endeavor. Still, no matter how bright the years,

our veins weaken & shrink, & our lives become shaped
by a stolid faith, as we diminish on the round earth
& ask where does the living heart return?

Death’s the one defeat that will not vanish-- no matter
God or anxiety-- & we consume this world before
the flesh decays, & we sing beside this vast escaping terror.

How long until this end, how long until the poor
are finally wasted, no more of their pathetic choices,
& we only witness comfort from a distant & hardened sight,

& we only love our own blood babies, & we
openly execute those who don’t cooperate,
& we construct a kind of closed, human parentheses:

it seems we think this life will last, will last,
will last, will last, will last, will last, will last.