I say we had better look our nation searchingly
in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease.
—Walt Whitman

Evil is alive
and feeds on our
fattened lambs.

Evil is thriving
and stuffed with
stuffed hens

until she is sleek
as a bird. Our mouths
are glossed with fat.

Leave your gods
at the door:
there is no room here

for even one. Milk
is blood and blood
milk, red and white,

white and red
as a bruise,
as sick, as a tear.

Oh, but you can close
every door, snap
the blinds in the house

of you; you can wrap
your gut in burlap
and twine,

in polyethelene,
and the voice
still calls

It should not
have to beg.

It is a feather
itch, sometimes
a sore,

a thread,
a hot seed.

Even our easy wants
can't damp it.
Even evil.