If you get high enough
you can worship down.
A beetle on a leaf
lays eggs, flies away,
thousands of leaves,
a million times and more,
that many hatchlings.
You see them through the holes
in O'Keefe's geomorphic church,
the spaces of Moore's gestalt,
through the sights of your rifle.
You know them always
when the carnage comes.
Rome, Dresden, Auschwitz.
A billion wars, a hundred times
that many hatchlings more.
Hendrix, Dylan, Rolling Stones,
finite holes in platters
circumvolving light years
on the spindle-trickle of remorse.
A thousand songs intensified
and played a million times
to many eggs on many leaves.
At night they multiply, swarm
through the keyhole of your cell,
from the cracks in sweating walls.
They glut your memories, leave
answers to forgotten questions.
You hear them in the whine
of complex circuits on the lines
that galvanize the scourge of greed.
They scuttle through your mind,
invade your sense of reason,
steal time, broken watches, bombs.
You were there at the crossing
when the song of rails announced
the thunderous entry of passing souls.
Their statues draped in vines will crumble.
Then through marble holes,
through rifts of bone, the scarabs come.
If you ever get high enough,
you'll find a way to worship down.
Copyright © 2003 Marge Simon
Marge Simon teaches art in Florida and freelances as a writer-poet-illustrator. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Tomorrow, Space & Time, Dark Regions, EOTU, and Nebula Anthology 32. A former president of the SF Poetry Association, she edits a column on poetry for the HWA Newsletter and contributes a column on art to Scavenger's Newsletter. Her previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. For more about her, visit her website.