Moral Bankruptcy

***The 2nd of two poems submitted and rejected by The New Yorker. ****
When demons do fight
with knives and chains
looking to eat the masses.
Talons crooked
deep within the chest
attached to the godly soul
draining it of emotion.
The pain and despair
candy upon their lips
as they feed upon those
who litter the entryway to hell.
All who have claimed thy kingdom come
wake within sulfuric pits
burning within
burning without
paying for their sins.
It was hard to fathom
a great shock
gasps of alarm
upon awakening at Satan’s gate.
Voices wailed
decrying their goodness
their godliness
they did all they could to be true to the Lord’s word.
They trod on the rights of women.
They stamped down the rights of the LGBT.
They dismissed children whose voices
rose
calling them all assholes.
Cleansed the land of all those not alike.
But that was what we were taught
upon the knees of our fathers
and grandfathers.
There must be a mistake.
No mistakes here
only men who will now muster
confederates to their crimes
and they shall try to seize the demons place
only to discover there is another bottom to hell.
March 18/18
Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Return from Hell

Abandon hope all ye who enter here.’
Steep steps
chiseled
hewn from black stone
back lit a flaming red
globs of lava thrown about
while demons howl
not with shame
not with fear
with blood lust
as the hunger bleeds through.
Crawling downward
ever downward
each level passing
as I search within the gloom
there is one I want
one I will kill
for all the pain
all the anguish he has caused.
At my back
demons scream
throwing bolts of flame
illuminating the darkness before me
I grimace
scorched by fire
but revenge shall be mine.
Finally the one I seek appears
bolted to the wall
fear
pain
sadness
soaking through my desire
my need
my retribution
I squint with fear.
In lowering myself
in giving in
to satisfaction that will be felt
I demean
I debase
the marrow of my being.
I draw myself up
strength returning
I look him in the eye
‘There shall never more be hope
I release you to Satan’s care.’
Head thrown back
he screams in terror
seeing the disjointed maws
black
salivating
thick gobs of spit
spun out as ropes
further tying him to the wall.
Stand aside
watch the horde rush in
my hands
clean they will remain
as I climb back up the stairs.
Aug. 19/18