Doubt and the Butcher

Lay me to the bone, oh Lord,
and vivisect me whole, should you exist.
Cut through these layers of monotony,
this sense of ought and should and duty,
and let me know there lies, beneath the flesh,
some metaphysics I can’t comprehend,
magic beyond measure, particles of stars
that would kill me should they ever see the light of day.
Slice down through the fat
and cut me deep, and tell me that
this rage and all this searching is for naught,
because there lies within a universe
so bright and clear and devastating too
that just a glance would set me straight,
if only it were visible.

Assure me this is so, and that the cost
is surgery with needless complication,
and I’ll be on my way, content enough.
I’ll walk away with thoughts of other things.
Else pound my bones to flour,
and keep me in the thresher, too,
so I can watch my mortal stuff uncoil and disappear.

I think back upon the rolling hills and misty evenings
where I laid the adolescent burden of my proof.
At least I felt there something in my doubt,
some roadsign’s shadow hidden in the negative.

For now I feel, although these hills lie scant miles away,
that I’ve forever lost that selfsame doubt, that it’s been whittled down;
what once I felt as tingling satisfaction yet unlived,
I now dismiss as mystic magic, permanently lost in youth.
Because I’m old, I’m rational, I work now,
and so I see that causes have effects,
and so I know that moderate results will follow easy effort.
But this is not OK, to think that
just because I have the causes licked I know the outcomes, too;
and to infer that all of life therefore is nothing
but deliverance of things that I expect.

So butcher me, oh God, and cleave me into tiny rounds.
Show to me the marrow of my sections, and bid me look.
Ask unto me: “How could you be so blind?”
and say it to my face.
Humiliate me, kill me, wipe me off
the face of this green earth for having hubris such
to think that I could ever hold this life in my control.

Show me the proof—that’s what I want.
She me the proof that I am aught but heaven’s fool.

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1 Response to Doubt and the Butcher

  1. Love this! Great title. We’ve always used broken but never cleaved!

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