defect

Lord, damn, boys
it’s been a long time since we’ve
sung a happy tune from
deep in the lungs.
somewhere here we’ve allowed them
to shut off our air, our water, our
light, our joy.

we’ve become them:   stilted, exact,
graven,
bitten by bitterness, smitten by
the small.

Lord, damn, boys
we’ve been too kind to shadows and
harpies, to slots and slatterns.
we have made their demands the
couriers of our own
iniquity.

Lord, damn, boys
where has the heroic self
gone?
it’s gone hiding, a scattered cat
in a hailstorm!

Lord, damn, boys
have we come to this?
have we really come to
this?

Lord, damn, boys
Lord, damn, boys,
Lord
damn
boys

I open my mouth
to sing
and a black moth
flys
in.

Lord.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript