Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Send Off

Any text that survives to be
Scrutinized by humans will be

Scrutinized by moralities
That, in a few generations

At the most, are certain to be
Squinting through glass ground differently

Than the lenses known to the text’s
Peers and near contemporaries.

No poem can be made so holy
No devotion could abhor it.

Even decency slides sideways,
Like all other aspirations,

And the most pure outrageousness
Comes to seem mixed, mostly charming,

And then fondly embraced, no doubt
With the faint, pleased sense of being

A wise reader on the right side
Of a most righteous history.

So don’t try, little poem—you’ll be
Both good and evil, by and by,

But only by the absurd fluke
Of having actually survived.

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