Mark DeFoe Angels in the Dumpster

Inside the pillared library a gaggle

of students are penning purple epics


about angels. When they have spent all their

metaphors, depleted their bandoleers


of profundities, each reads to the group

what they have wrought. Everyone murmurs Yes.


good. That is so cool. Meanwhile outside, city crews,

preparing for winter, swing long rods, knock


seed pods from the well-trimmed trees, raking them

to the dumpsters. The pods hold minute beings,


homunculi with shimmering wings. The pods

puzzle the workmen’s rough fingers. They cock


a chapped ear to unearthly strings in

perfect harmony. It drifts away. Though good men,


they do not succumb to the spiritual.

Back in the library, the poets name their angels,


waiting to be dazzled. At the smoldering dump,

animals forage. When they hear the music,


they chatter wildly. Then the pods burst open

and the little men, singing, rise up, swirling


in the holy sparks. There are no humans here

to kneel. Only small creatures, trembling,


transfixed and glorified by this strangeness.


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