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73: Angel Wings

“Angel Wings”
Brian Patten

In the morning I opened the cupboard
and found inside it a pair of wings,
a pair of angel's wings.
I was not naive enough to believe them real.
I wondered who had left them there.

I took them out the cupboard,
brought them over to the light by the window
and examined them.
You sat in the bed in the light by the window grinning.

'They are mine,' you said;
You said that when we met
you'd left them there.

I thought you were crazy.
Your joke embarrassed me.
Nowadays even the mention of the word angel
embarrasses me.

I looked to see how you'd stuck the wings together.
Looking for glue, I plucked out the feathers.
One by one I plucked them till the bed was littered,

'They are real,' you insisted,
your smile vanishing.
And on the pillow your face grew paler.
Your hands reached to stop me but
for some time now I have been embarrassed by the word angel.

For some time now in polite or conservative company
I have checked myself from believing
anything so untouched and yet so touchable
had a chance of existing.

I plucked then
till your face grew even paler;
intent on proving them false
I plucked
and your body grew thinner.
I plucked till you all but vanished.

Soon beside me in the light,
beside the bed in which you were lying
was a mass of torn feathers;
glueless, unstitched, brilliant,
reminiscent of some vague disaster.

In the evening I go out alone now.
You say you can no longer join me.
You say
Ignorance has ruined us,
disbelief has slaughtered.

You stay at home
listening on the radio
to sad and peculiar music,
who fed on belief,
who fed on the light I'd stolen.

Next morning when I opened the cupboard
out stepped a creature,
blank, dull, and too briefly sensual
it brushed out the feathers gloating.
I must review my disbelief in angels.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
raienna
Jul. 12th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
I love this. It's beautiful and sad.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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