The angel asked if you were ready to go,
& you said that you wanted to stay a bit longer
with the red lilies in the rock garden.
You wanted to play your horn in the bleeding petals,
in the long, hairy vines,
you wanted to wait & see
if anyone would show up to delay your performance.
It’s time, the angel said, impatient
as you paced a straight line back & forth
by the red lilies in the rock garden.
& that’s where I found you in the morning,
after coffee & newspapers,
after I’d convinced myself I was worthless,
I’d convinced myself I was a god,
to walk into the red lilies in the rock garden
& find you like that,
fuck to find you like that.
John Amen is the founder and managing editor of Pedestal Magazine and the author of Illusion of an Overwhelm. His poetry has appeared recently in such journals as American Literary Review, New York Quarterly, and Prairie Schooner.