H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
I Give Up My Place In The World To Come
I give up my place in the world to come.
You go instead, it’s yours. Let me remain
here, alongside cancer children in orange
wigs. With children in the ground, cruel
bullets like pressed flowers in their smiling
faces. Don’t wait for me. Don’t wait up.
It’s so beautiful––women & men, torn from each
other’s side. Whole cities & nations unravel
below. The light beyond, like omniscience
in the novel, not something of any worth.
Give me the everpresent exodus, the exodus,
exodus of people living in the impeccable
alley of centuries. Give me huge drowning
floods & bitterest cold. I give up my place.
Leave me in this gruesome factory to glow
& hiss & rot. Dress me in the silent clothes
of terrorized forests. Burn me in a firestorm
of poor houses crushed beneath the homeless
blue stones of war. Persecute me for my
starving wall of violets. Lock me up with
the unreformed and the penitent in the braided
garlic jails of birth. Just cross out my name
when the saints last call. Send the one who
bleeds to death with apples falling on the
dark street. Order those dragged by snipers
across the road of the sky, dragged by
needles & explosions, dragged by oceans
first. Until devoured like others in the
ovens of oblivion, I give you my place to
prepare your reward of springtimes to come,
of wheatfields, of romance & sudden murder.
31 January 1994
[Originally published in NHS 1994, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs94/index.html#34.]