Angel Heart

Here’s to what you never know having done
and so can never admit to. A snake under your skin,
a vein too bold and blue, the visible path

of the heart your father died of. A surgeon
can only work with what she sees, and under the surface
of cut skin is more surface to be cut through.

If you murder you are a murderer,
whether yourself or another. The razor separates you
from your body. This is a litany of violence

no one will remember, given a year or two,
because it is easier to forgive and forget who is responsible
when you are responsible. I am responsible

for the history of the world. The serpent circling us
is the same that twines with its twin to make medicine.
Milk the fangs. Drink the poison.

Daniel Gumbiner

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