the status quo must go

he visited me in my sleep

that serpent in a suit, so gentlemanly, so cunning

he told me what to do

“Burn what doesn’t matter, and stop the thoughts in your head

if you desire to make love in your bed

do it in ink

like a funeral pyre

dedicated to me

I promise you, immortality.”

and I believed him.

Of course, this was only a dream

but the devil is in the details—the contract

too hard to read, and I signed it, in my sleep because I was too tired to comprehend, the end. It’s the job that seems easy

but it always costs more than it’s worth, like the compounding penny

“Dig up all the rocks in my garden, and you can have 5 dollars,” my dad said.

It took all day, in the blistering heat, and when I said, “It’s finished,” he pulled a rock from the black earth like a potato

and laughed. He was the devil, a master of the knowledge of the earth.

Have you ever done something, and woken up, but not entirely?

He took me out of my head, into a street of lanterns

and cosmic shadows, into the frosty fog.

It’s hard to know what happened, like alcoholic nights

or drug-induced daylight

but he showed me, golden books in the library

and the nations that would know my name.

“You don’t succumb to sensual pleasures. I respect that. You want fame,

the power people praise, and seldom disdain.”

He knew me better than my dad.

Where was God?

Telling stories, is my price to be paid—my will to be done, on earth

and not in heaven.

I woke up, screaming to the Lord, but there was an echo in my ears

“You signed. You signed.”

I guess I did. And now the ensuing days

must be spent, doing what the devil promised me for my soul

those tales I need to tell

written in the same black ink

that damned me to hell.

9 thoughts on “My Dad, the Devil

      1. Never thought of it that way. I know my pain brings things to write, as well as my experiences. I would not know pain without knowing loss and love. Good point.
        But it is true.

        Liked by 1 person

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