National Poetry Month: April 19th

Angels by Katha Pollitt

They thought the job would be more musical:
Rainbows and trumpets.  They’d burst
through clouds of marble streaked with flame
.
and offer blinding demonstrations
of the ontological proof of God.
People would look up and say “Ineffable!”
.
Instead, they swooped through the mall
calling Ashley? Pammy?
fished Mrs. Baines’ wedding ring from the drain again,
.
and suspended the laws of physics on the freeway,
while simultaneously fielding the collective pleas
of Sister Perpetua’s seventh grade:
.
Bauxite, they hiss. Cortez. Tegucigalpa.
Why don’t they just study? one angel would gripe to another,
She told them Latin America would be on the test.
.
Gradually, they stopped showing up.
They moved into studio apartments
and took day jobs working with plants and animals.
.
You can spot a pair of them sometimes
at the back of the Greek diner,
giggling and whispering over fruit plates:
.
No, Timmy, really:
The principal export of Bolivia is lightning.
Or maybe they saunter downtown
.
at the end of the day, one jingling your keys, the other
tossing your lottery tickets into the gutter.
Later they’ll find their way to the dark little bar
.
hidden away below decks,
order cocktails named after movie stars
and try out the bed in your stateroom
.
on a liner that left exactly on time, after all.

This poem was selected by Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

Poetry Copyright Notice

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