in that day, a pleasant vineyard, sing of it!

if i were god over this earth
i would’ve quit my people a long time ago

my capacities for grace
never large to begin with
would vanish like smoke
in the face of so much lowness

people are not kind to one another

god what maintains the blindness of your mercy
you love the wolf as if he was a dove
you love the dove as if he was a child
i can barely tolerate banalities
i forget to say thanks for existence
i am most days worse than any wolf

god once i tried to blind myself into your heart
but i could never stop my eyes from seeing
what i saw was pretenders dressed up like prophets
what i saw was loud children at war with everything
cities on fire with their own secret greeds

people have never been kind to one another

god i am not cut out for your line of work
too trapped in my vision of mutual decency
too ruined by a dream somebody told me
where good people are good to people
where the earth is a vineyard we share with each other
and everyday the branches hang heavy with fruit

and every night we sleep naked in the fields

i tell the holy ghost that when such a dream emerges
i will sing with the voice of a saint at the river

the holy ghost laughs and says
no earth except the earth before you
no songs but in the present

Dan Leach has published poetry and short fiction in The New Orleans Review, Smokelong Quarterly, and The Sun. His short story “Wasp Queen” was recently awarded the Editors’ Prize at Copper Nickel. He holds an MFA from Warren Wilson.

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