“Old Man” by Daniel Adami

Shalom, Salem, Selah;
Attenuate the tithe,
Melchizedek, and
leave to me a dram
of dregs — perhaps
a slice of bread to
staunch my bleeding

I need some fodder,
father, that won’t
falter in this
darkness, in this
I wonder if I’m
now –

if this darkness
is starvation,
if the thirsting
has a purpose,
if the bush will
burn forever,
in the dusty,
ashen ground.

Mene, Tekel,
Peres for my
citadel of dreck;
for unspent
two-cents here and there,
detritus, and regret;
for old testaments
abandoned faithlessly
and left for dead;
for dead workings
and the stirring of
an anthem in my head.

Belshazzar shall fall to Darius
again, and then I’ll see
that my grumbling in the desert
was for naught. For I was free


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