The Truth is

for Joey

Think of unreality

                   an angel dying, a god being born.

The walls of the waiting room are like the nurses
flat and white. They lean ready to fall–
Sleep…I dream you rising from hell
to a heaven of your own.

There can be no peace until the truth is known
and the truth is love does not conquer all
I hear the shriek, the weeping
the gnashing of teeth

I see you behind glass, head shaven, arms
and legs tied down, face contorted, eyes fixed
on one ceiling light to which you pray
and curse bitterly.

Jesus cursed the fig tree, it withered and it died.
Like John below your cross
I stand by your bed
bewildered sick.
You wear love like a bloody crown
but the blade through my side
cuts deeper than my heart, my center fractures.

I can cry but not save you, laugh but not heal you
dream but not make you whole– Somewhere
an angel is dying.

The truth is
this is our earth
not as love intends, but as men make it
men and the forces we all must bend to
quaking earth, pull of moons, power of madness, and death.