Guilt

The ones who died?—You magnify them 
with your living, don’t you? 
Wednesday morning, think how good 
they would think they had it, even when 
it’s raining again, making coffee a chore,
leftover laundry dank and spoiled,
deviling the corner with the sweat of your lost work.

The people you fix yourself to meet 
are not yet ghosts, otherwise 
you’d put more stock in them, and sympathy, 
and mercy too.

Instead they’re heavy on you 
like the air before a storm.
You can’t say to them—can you?—You’re 
the worst part of my day. 

Count ten, pretend 
to have a better vantage from the ceiling,
from the treetop just outside the window,
or farther—from the eye of that tilting buzzard 
in front of that smudge of ugly cloud.

There’s nothing aerial in God’s judgment.
So be the mote for just a moment. 
Think mote-like while you’re floating 
tangled at the back of your own eye.
There’s more trespass than you’ll be able to amend.
You’ll be too late beyond the grave, 
gritting your rotted jaw, clenched forever
against what good you might have said, 
instead of what you said.
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