the ghost of all things

by David van den Berg

it’s best to speak of god in darkened rooms / ‘cause the old man’s cataracts are thick as silver dollars / ears sharp and cold as shattered glass /  hears our endless whispering like / 3am static of a black-and-white tv / can’t sleep so / he’s meaner than a hornet / stalks the heavens with week-old stubble / hollow cheeked / lookin’ for some sucker to smite just ‘cause he can.

he’d love us more but / he loved the first of us too much / couldn’t bear to lose ‘em to the night beyond the stars so / he caught hold of the pain and the grief and the other heavy things they left behind / ordered it to pass from father to son and mother to daughter so / he’d never have to say goodbye.

but the weight was too much for us to bear / never measured up to memory / now when he looks at us he sees naught but / coulda-beens and empty hopes / and while we live we pass that disappointment down the road. / and the ghost of all things lives inside our bones and we blame ourselves for who we are but / i don’t look kindly on the man who’ll place a curse on seven generations / or the one who’ll use our wings to teach us how to drown.

David van den Berg grew up hunting and fishing in the swamps of Florida. He is the Founder of Prometheus Dreaming (@prometheusdreamingmag), an online arts magazine. His poetry appears in Cathexis Northwest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, Waxing and Waning, Castabout Arts and Literature, From Whispers to Roars and Forbidden Peaks Press among others.