Josh Weiss

Rookie (8/1/1988 / Chicago)

Cain And Abel - Poem by Josh Weiss

le meilleur des mondes possibles.
-Leibniz.

The lonely lamplights flicker upon lonely streets,
And shadows, deep shadows, smother empty streets,
And restless alone some old man saunters near death,
Panting in the cold, panting slowly, panting his last breath.
And across his sauntering steps on broken rock and stone,
In a forgotten alleyway stained with long forgotten blood,
There are sounds of pain, of breaking hearts, and a moan,
As a furious husband hits his broken wife to the mud.
Stopping to watch and sighing in grief, the old man stares
As the husband walks away, his wife hurt, but no one cares.
The old man continues on breathless, his lungs whistling ache,
His nose dripping, legs shaking, and back about to break.
The street-side stretches for miles and miles on,
Through dark and nothing the street stretches straight,
As a weeping young man with all his belief gone,
Passes the elder, not knowing what to await.
The old man looks back startled at the man quivering,
That ruined young man through the cold shivering.
Up through the shadow to the old man crawls
A ragged man, trying desperately to rise, yet falls.
He begs the old man for any help he can spare,
Something, anything to help him stay alive,
But the old man in disgust and without a care,
Does not really worry if this man can survive.
He moves along with the beggar crying at his heel,
The beggar, starving, dying, wanting one last meal.
The old man never knew that later in the dark,
Alone and afraid with the cold touch of the world,
That beggar drew up in sorrow against some bark,
And died with his head raised, his fate unfurled.
A dark violent storm drifts slowly over the town,
From the East, near Nod, this great storm came around.
The dark clouds look down upon the fallen beggar’s upward gaze,
Remembering ages and ages ago a similar sentiment upon a face,
And yet through many, many nights and many, many days,
The storm concludes man again has fallen from grace.
Brother falling to the strike of his brother,
Man against man falling against one another.
The old man stumbles upon a dog, diseased and dying,
Wheezing and breathless, sprawled upon the ground,
The dog with his neck strained, choking and crying,
Saw the old man and made a worn exhausted sound.
The maggots creep slowly sensing the stench of death,
Breathing in the taste of the dog’s every last breath.
The creature’s eyes roll in sickness and fear,
Trying to live, whimpering and trying to live.
The old man seeking to step over, comes near,
But forces unseen are not ready to forgive.
The old man, stepping into a crack, falls heavily upon his face,
With a cry and with blood he turns bruised in his place.
Lying in great pain aside the dying dog
The old man groans, his life forgone,
Over something so inane as a darkened dog,
Something so mundane to have fallen on.
His back broken, the old man remains still as the dog rattles his last breath,
And slowly dying, watching the storm crying, dying he joins in his death.
The storm passes over, the sun rises depressed,
The town is in shock, society cleans the dead away,
Maggots squirm and crawl through the dog’s chest,
And only with slight changes, the world begins a new day.
Certain people may question such evil, such darkness, solely out of fear,
Yet, look around, look around, look around you I say! It’s all there.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, August 14, 2010


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