Poem: Ariel Beller

they and you

it will refer to a day
when the devil rushed in
to pacify their art
from then on they were members of cunning technology
the honing of remorselessness

you see the demon scout make a report you
see it smile
grow huge
sprout six legs
and walk out over the world
to cover it with a second shadow

later someone comes to adjust your bow tie
brush the dust off your lapels
then spin you forty times
and push you into oncoming hell
into consciousness

where the phone can ring

they have a professional interest in you they
see you sag in the middle
and take a seat
and leave guilt in your stomach
and isolation in your neck

use tried and true ways
to amplify misery

and they leave a bell at your side
and their parting words are
ring it
if you can’t take it
Ariel D. Beller was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1976. He was the editor of La Reata from 2004–2014, and was the recipient of the Michael Donaghy Memorial Prize in 2006. Recent work has appeared in The Bicycle Review, Roadside Fiction, Luna Luna, and Gobbet.

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