The Black Angel
A murder of crows descends
by Daniel Brick
from the twilight sky, and
settles in a huge tree, huddling
against its gold leaves. Below them,
King Lear writhes in the muck,
moaning and cursing his fate.
Suddenly aroused, he shakes
his fist at the nearest crow:
"Croak not, black angel. I will not love."
The first time you fell out of love,
you felt remorse and your heart bled
for your forsaken partner...
By the fourth time a lover failed you,
you were merely glad the separation
did not take more of your time.
A black angel sees all from its perch.
Your sleep is vexed by snatches
of memory. A once-loved face
will look ruefully into your sleep
searching for the truth of your affair.
The black angel stays in the background,
but she will come night after night
in this fool's errand. Oh, release her.
Winter light only reveals the outline
of things. It highlights the skeletal
shape of trees, the tarnished whiteness
of snow, and the wide wingspan of crows.
Do not dismiss it: it has shed its dark
radiance over your being and makes it glow.
The black angel launches into flight and climbs
out of sight. Are you ready, finally ready
for the gift of love? Are you prepared to make
the necessary sacrifices? Will you accept both
the darkness and the light? Is your heart cleansed
and your mind clear? Are you the man you claim to be?
Or are you just a ghost presence in a murder of crows?
The black angel returns and lurks nearby.
He is always nearby. He may be a creature
without a soul, but he has cunning and, day
after day, he persists in his mission of watching
over things and beings. He watches over you
with special resolve. Do not writhe. Do not curse.
His presence summons you to fulfill your human fate.