Sympathy For The Devil

He wore a brimstone-black suit, pressed and clean,
and left his office always in the darkest witching hours,
grinning at his gold plaque with sharp teeth of equal sheen
to that golden name of his: CEO William Powers.

Arriving at the elevator, he pressed to go down
as if straight to Hell, his chauffeur smiling brightly
in the garage, to whom he told to take the limo downtown
because he had charity to give, as he always did—nightly.

They drove deep into the city, to the heart of the ghetto,
and Powers got out, going to the nearest, darkest alley
and, being a master manipulator not unlike Geppetto,
he gave an addict a fist full of money, not pausing to dillydally.

Grinning to himself, Powers then rode home for the night,
watching dark streets brighten from the limo’s window
and seeing all the seraphim lights arrayed like halos so white
that the ritzy part of the city was akin to Heaven’s glow.

‘So much wealth and greed in this place,’ he wryly thought,
‘and some people think it is Heaven.’ He laughed out loud,
imagining what Heaven really was, and how it easily brought
more happiness than this Hellish place ever allowed.

‘So many here would give their worldly treasure
just to glimpse its pearly gates, yet it can only buy a ticket
to the other place.” He then grinned without pleasure
as he thought of a camel and a needle and how one might stick it.

Going home, to his luxury townhouse in Manhatten,
William Powers ate a lavish meal, even saying a prayer
to himself, both for the food and the figure, glad he did not fatten
like so many other rich people who indulged without care.

Getting ready for bed, Will had his butler place a call
to an escort service, asking for a prompt employee
who was named Angel and who had a body built like a doll
made for pleasure, and a name that filled him with as much glee.

Afterwards, when she had been paid her love’s money,
and limped away with an exhausted smile on her face,
Will laid down as if he had been fed fully on milk and honey
and fell asleep to wistful dreams of a much better place.

The next day Powers woke up and went to the same alley
where he had given the addict thousands in crisp bills—
there were police there, and a crowd, all gathered as if to rally
the EMT’s to save the addict, now dead from too many pills.

“It’s so sad!” a woman remarked. “So sad and so cruel!”
William Powers laughed, then, and the crowd glared at him.
He was shameless, though, and so he said, “Don’t be a fool.
He died happier than any of you will.” His tone was not grim.

“You are a devil!” the woman said, turning away from his eyes.
William Powers nodded slowly, just as a dove flew into view—
so pure white, as if made of light, rising toward receptive skies.
Will watched it go, and sighed.

“You know, the Devil was an angel, too.”

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