Faust
by Phil Slattery

 

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Abstractions

Quiet.

All is damnably quiet.

I can hear the spiders spinning in the darkness,

the breath of a rat against the stone walls,

a cockroach crawling through the sulphur-laden air.

The roaring silence fills the air like the grumble of the sea.

 

Pitiless Eternity.

 

But a second ago he was here,

he whose eyes glowed like falling stars in bottomless pools,

he with the comforting voice of the practiced whore.

My wounds still bleed, my sleeves are still wet.

The rats have yet to smell the droplets on the floor.

 

For what have I been sold?

Square roots? Sines? Sums?

Will I profit knowing winds are not the breath of God   

        knowing the sun is not a chariot of fire?

        knowing mountains are not the bones of giants?

        knowing why the sound of pouring wine tickles the ear?

  why lovers' eyes sparkle as purest silver?

  why cool grass and shade bring easy sleep?

 

Did Da Vinci paint with a carpenter's angle?
   Michaelangelo sculpt with a plumb?

I will be reduced to monotonous lectures and boring sums.
And should I escape eternal hell
I nonetheless lose my soul.