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 Spirit Chimes

Justice Denied

I believe there must be
a marketplace on the
outskirts of Earth
where some murderers have
haggled with Fate
and bought themselves
glorious furloughs
through life.

I like to think they taste
blood when they sip their Merlot
and hear blood in the rain
that labors for them at night,
but I know they are the
most merciful creatures--
to the bodies they live in.

And the sun and the earth see
them no differently and they
dream the dreams of conquerors
between antiseptic sheets.

They are the ocean:
never knowing defeat,
the beautiful devourer,
possessor of secrets and skies
that fall to earth.

Their payment is in the afterlife,
you say.
I saw the afterlife once.
In a thunderstorm:
Darkness one moment and
the next, light branded the sky.
A glimpse of serpents tongue
and I took a half-second journey
on its trail of flame
and I was frozen in a
land of light and myths.

Then darkness again.

And I felt foolish for
doubting that it happens.
It comes:
the end.
It comes but always tomorrow.

Now is a very generous
idol to those who sell
their tomorrows.

Of course, what they are
given is sleep,
never the jolts of great pain
and great joy
and power you enter like
chocolate-scented, poppy-tinted

But still it is something and
something is so much more than
they deserve.

And you wonder if it was
all a joke--
these monsters feasting
then sleeping through the
pain they brought
into this world.

And for a moment,
you can swear you hear
the sound of champagne
glasses clinking
and gales of laughter rising
from the inner circle
of hell.

Patricia Joan Jones

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