May 2

May 2   The angel lay in a little thicket.  It had no need of love; there was nothing anywhere in the world could startle it–we can lie here with the angel if we like; it couldn’t have hurt much when they slit its throat.

The evening slowly turns to black stone and the hammer of God chips at the sky, making stars.  A child stands on the road watching us; upon her forehead is the yellow brand of this plague-summer.  She waves to us and her hand, like a withered, white claw, falls to the ground; the fingers unclench once, then relax– I stuff the hand into my pocket, and we hurry on.

Very well.  We knew we had no other course but to get away with all attainable speed.  A light rain had fallen in the night, and morning brought the drizzle to storm proportions.  Our coats were wet through as we sogged out of New York on the first leg of our trip.  That a great distance separated us from our goal we knew; that we were in danger of destruction at any hour of the day and night we knew; what we did not know was how near madness we would be; how alone; how defenseless; how beset we were with what we had heard, with what we had been taught– this especially, we did not know.

from The Journal of Albion Moonlight
© Kenneth Patchen 1941

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: