Howard Firkin
For thy sweet love remembered is a knife,
a swallowed razor blade or broken glass,
a jagged kidney stone I cannot pass;
your sweet love promises to end my life
and never does. It brands. Creates new scars.
I wear your decoration on my skin:
the random tattooed lines, the ugly brands,
a language no one but you understands,
an argument that no one else can win.
Your sweet love has the breath of abbatoirs.

The long walk up the hosed clean metal mesh
to killing floor. The Judas goat. The smell
of others' blood. The living turned to flesh.
And you. So this is what it's like in heaven.