To A Fallen Angel


by Robert McDonald


Was it such a falling, coming down
from the heights?
Was it cold
 in the citadel
among columns of ice
and endless
light,
the chorus
of seraphim as enthusiastic
as birds in the hedges
once upon a spring morning, but
a thousand times as beautiful? Was it
such a falling, dwelling
 as you do, an exile in a city
that embraces shadow
as well as the sun?
 
In the corner gay bar, you have not
shaved and you have not slept, but
you remain
the most handsome
yahoo in the room. Bourbon sings
like a wren, it tastes faintly of heaven,
but here it has amber tones,
 temptation, and fire. You
can look straight ahead
and see your reflection, and likewise
your fellow barfly, mirrored,
 regarding you
with his earthly hungers.
 
Really for you it is all about the ledge, the leap,
 and after. He is about to offer
to buy you a drink,
 and we know
what that means: it was cold
in the citadel,
he wants
you, and we’re falling.


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