Moloch upon Awakening – Michele Sharpe

            - - Moloch is the Biblical name of the Canaanite god of child sacrifice

         I’m old, but gods don’t die. Our time
is not your time. We sleep
                       for your millennia,

our fine heads steeped in clouds or the steam
                              of volcanoes.
I prefer this icy riverbed,

                              its counterpoint
to my burning chapels, its cool flow
              sluicing away the ash.

                            Gods wake when we want,
              not when our minions clamor,
and mine, the warlords

and money-lords, are loud
                            as fuck.
              Yes, we like the way you turn a phrase,

all the sounds you make.
                             Why children?
Why do you ask?

                     I was thinking of beauty.
How you bury both
      your garbage and your dead.

How when rains amplify
                             the spring snowmelt,
your graves flood, your garbage floats,

      and yet you let your children swim.
                             Why children?
You keep asking. As if you don’t recall

                  leading them
to the river and the fire, while I
                                 was only thinking of beauty -

        Your children
writhing like dancers, like tree limbs
       in high winds or flames.
Michele Sharpe

Michele Sharpe, a poet and essayist, is also a high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, adoptee, and former trial attorney. Her essays appear in venues including The Rumpus, Guernica, Catapult, and The Sycamore Review. Recent poems can be found in Poet Lore, North American Review, Stirring, and Baltimore Review.

1 Comment

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S Stephaniereply
January 30, 2019 at 7:17 AM

Wonderful piece!

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