The Forest Dweller’s Diary

8. The Pantheon

I squeeze through the sweating bodies
Absorbed into the bloody air
Past a woman with a wicket blade
Filleting chicken breasts

I wonder if she’s not a forgotten god
With a granite heart dangling in her breast
Most gods, I know, are forgotten,
Though not less real for that

Sometimes, mostly at night, I feel them
In the breath of solitude
Their indifferent gaze violating the silence
Their intelligence useless because not manifest

How many of us have gods
Lurking behind our eyes
Unrealized divinities, bound in silk ropes
Harvested from spider webs?

Gods with the heads of serpents
Or dogs, pigs or eagles,
All spreading jaws
But unable to manifest their commands,
Devoid of breath?

Alex Sager

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