Sheathed In Silk

Unsuspected, the blade sheathed in soft silk,
as we blindfold ourselves with the attire
of kinder roles, as if kin to the ilk
of angels whose white wings often aspire
toward toplofty clouds, though we steal from
the calf its milk, or the lambkin its veal,
to render the comforts of our kingdom;
the wool, the cream, the calfskin, each filling meal.

How stained are our hands with the coins we snatch
from the pouch we slit in a neighbor’s throat,
that crimson pouch without zipper or patch,
which, once opened, now gapes as the scapegoat
sacrificed to devils for devotions
while we bleat like innocent lambs lined up
for slaughter—Bravo!  Our martyr notions
would have us, shameless, on such scapegoats sup!

But lo! The blade betrays its brutal truth,
reflecting killer in a crimson sheen,
the guilty stained with victim blood, forsooth,
and not so easy a thing to scrub clean,
nor does silk conceal the guilt wrought therefrom,
but bleeds through, leaking for all to see
lest the witness make blindfold wherefrom
anointed he, too, is likewise guilty.

Shun the shade! Forfeit the silk! Forsake yet
the dagger and rending the bloody purse!
Abandon evil, its comforts, forget
aught else lest you reap the tannery’s curse!
Such a world is for scapegraces alone
and its light illumes by human tallow
while the eyes flinch from what is thereby shown,
sheathed in silk alike to Justice, fallow.

The Scapegoat’s Prayer

We are begotten
and burdened
by flesh,
its temptations thus befall us
and become us,
so let us shackle a lowly beast
unconfessed of sins
with the weighted words of our evils
and cast it out to Alini, to the
wanton wastelands of
arid responsibility, thus
providing us our innocence
so desperately craved
and thereby proving us
the lowly beast we would each other scapegoat. In make
and in meaning
we are what we would
in our steads
forfeit to condemnation. For we
were made in the image of our Maker
and likewise must divest ourselves
of our multitudinous sins,
hanging their blood-blackened thorns
upon the crown of the Goat,
of Lucifer, Satan, Azazel,
for he is the beast of burden that chews the
roughage of our hearts’ sins.
Hoofed and horned and
black-lipped with iniquity’s cud, whispering
in our ears, he is
the Goat, the Scapegoat,
consumed by the same duty that
Jesus knew.
Yes, imbue him, encumber him, and
cast him out,
for he carries in him
that which we begot upon the earth:
black deeds,
blacker thoughts,
blackest desires—let him eat the roughage
until only the human heart remains,
more bestial and lowly than any
truebred goat grazing
in the fallow vastness of
spiritus mundi.
Come! Cast out the overladen sacrifice
as did the Lord his firstborn son,
glutting within his angel’s heart
the sins of His making.
For He so loved Heaven
that He hurled forth His first son
to expunge the impurities therefrom;
the impurities of His own Creation
as we do our own.
Cast it out
as the Maker did us
from the Garden of Eden, our species
a great congregation of
scapegoats, too, and scapegoats that
cast out scapegoats, as we
cast out the Maker, in turn, God being
the scapegoat of our sins as well.
Lucifer, Eve, Adam, Christ, Man, God—
scapegoats unto scapegoats, a whole herd
of overburdened exiles, our unhappy Exodus
as natural as sin itself
in this flawed skein of flesh.
Come, partake in this ancient Pharmakon, for
from sins arise as a black plague
our communal heart, so drink fast the
remedy,
and relish the
poison,
relieving by stony pills
the Pharmakos;
the therapy without equal,
the ritual without rites,
the original opiate,
and opioid,
of the shameless masses
exiled by the sinfulness
of Nature’s perverse innocence.
May we eat well
of blame abloom
in this hoof-trammeled wilderness.