William Doreski

Ram’s Horns


Like Moses mistranslated
as sporting ram’s horns when
descending Sinai with tablets
in hand, you forward yourself
into an unsuspecting world.

The days crease like letters
mailed from a haunted mailbox.
The hours sicken one by one,
dripping into metal buckets.
You insist on warping yourself

with chores beyond mortal effort.
Hercules labored in vain,
but you reconstruct the world
with a few bold contortions,
leaving the rest of us in sighs.

Memorial Day weekend looms
with its gangly parades and reek
of barbecue. Remember the dead
of wars before we were born?
Like Moses but unlike Moses

you convey certain messages
the rest of us can’t process.
Yours don’t come from God but
from short-circuited neurons
blazing in your sleepless dark.

Will you ever concede yourself
in terms the Japanese iris,
mayapple, and phlox understand?
When I watch you kneel in the garden
and humble yourself for flowers

I expect you to speak in tongues.
But you never do, your silence
bearing ram’s horns instead
of a halo, only the humor
of your deviltry bristling aloud.



William Doreskiʼs work has appeared in various e-magazines and print journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (2018).
Read more from him:
Becoming and Becoming, in Dime Show Review
A Tetanus Shot, in Rattle

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