Yom Kippur

  1. The capital building is on fire again,
  2. flames distress the air at twenty stories.
  3. We’ve all read the demolition logs, how twenty-nine follows thirty,
  4. and you see how I’m counting down,
  5. in order, though the elements skipped and hopped to it,
  6. ruining men, which is what elements do.
  7. Is that God there, burning the house down?
  8. My finger, tipped red, traces sins by the dozen.
  9. I am a secret that anyone
  10. with X-ray vision and a taste for flesh could expose.
  11. I’m so humble I could kick your ass.
  12. Ah, hello, sin of the smart mouth.
  13. Slap, bellow, slap, showboat.
  14. And hello sin of unloving, of taking it all back.
  15. This autumn, the bees disprove the dire science.
  16. They lurch toward the only syrup they know,
  17. and we give sweet up, afraid to eat; we wind up here,
  18. this group confession, this smother of bodies, cotton and canvas;
  19. this is what I’m talking about.
  20. The grassland encircling town smolders, a rope of incineration.
  21. We skip-hop and skip-hop over it.
  22. We’re on our toes, we’re on our heels,
  23. we’re on our heels, are we on our knees? Get on your knees,
  24. this ain’t no good girl’s holiday.