We are not jazzless angels
every harp note perfect and predictable, every chess game
a draw. Freewill cannot dazzle if every foul choice turns gold.
Hunger gnaws and starvation
a mountain lion invisible against the rocks.
Claws celebrate emaciated flesh
so we plow and plant
but the god equation is not so simple as
a good life equals a good life. Rains turn
on a butterfly’s hiccup.
Sometimes children lose hair to chemo because water flows
through lead or perhaps a gamma-ray spun off from a distant star—
capricious freedom. Mothers could die
young enough they never pose difficult questions nor lose
young names in setting sun.
Suppose the world a coke commercial, everyone
singing, holding hands, and sweet fizzy drinks didn’t make you crave
another and another until insulin shots circle like vultures.
Beauty sans purpose is boring as certainty. Healthy forests
need wildfire and satisfying years need
2nd period bullets, outlawed loves, unjust lash. Bombs clinging
to hopeless chests, desire for more more
trumping children of the poor.
And what of love?
if we did not throw while the coin spins high
all our money on the table.
Place your bets; hold your breath.
We do not have to, crust will not collapse. We get to
say maybe, just maybe, bend the universe imperceptible—
hallelujah a prayer of sweet,
sweet sweat— muscles obeying best they can or not.
Revel in unpredictable effort.
Pity jazzless angels— no reason to wake except to praise.