Interpose: A Love Poem

If Death’s cowled presumption were ever to enter your wing-whispering room
I will be iron gate and waiting. If he dares reach brittle finger bone
toward you, he will meet a resistance of glint and roar beyond his
ancient ken and dominion. He will not pass, for I have supped full
of flesh-scratching fears from my own making, the less of me
confronting the dirt and sandbox, the spitball years of school yard,
the narrowing of parents behind their newspapers and curtains,
two bruised feet of my own for blind stumbling, until you
were balm and oil and voice to soothe those winces and abidings
hiding behind the frail rust of human hinge—what is his reach
to me, who has kissed hatred full on the mouth,
lessoned in lowering others to the bottom of goldless wishing wells,
unjusted for crimes I did not commit while rat-gliding
along the grey wall of unaccused transgressions, finally
mirrored with only one face to smash and blame—lost and angry
until you gently entered, stood within the frame smoothing graven lines
into submission, your kiss opiating all history into forgiveness.
Let him bring his embrace of cold dark endlessness into your room,
his pitiful dreams of unfurling and dust, and I will begin
a war that shakes the rough edges of all expanding matter
and star fabric, all light, all atoms, all invisible and eternal god scream—
let him know: I have grasped the flaming sword from the door
of Paradise, laughed through cleansing and the forge, and I will cleave
all worlds asunder if he even thinks your name.

—Scott T. Hutchison