THE RELIQUARY DEATH OF CMXCIX
Written by R.S. Janes
And so they shaved his head
and found the incriminating ‘666’
there on his scalp.
So that the world must not die,
the Devil’s spawn,
he must return to dust, buster.
And so they crucified him
on some old dead wood left over
from the concubine of a
when a mere Holy Word
could confer new virginity
and revive lost celibacy.
It was only after he was dead,
his mouth and mind gaping black
open in silence,
that they realized
they had been looking at it upside-down
it was ‘999’ and the world
would have been safe
after all They asked:
Why couldn’t these things be in
Roman numerals like the original?
Now they had to
Shave their own heads and
Look for clues there
under the missing hair
perhaps in the form of
three commas upended,,,
would Perdition’s Master
expose his Only Misbegotten Son —
and it could be anyone.
But then the commas three upended ,,,
May indicate rather a
New Age of Ellipsis to come ()
What a Dilemma so infinitely baffling,
so metaphysically dumb! They asked:
But how do we rid ourselves of evil
without practicing the Devil’s work?
(Those whom men would make mad
first become Gods to destroy?)
How inconvenient that the saints
always come marching in
and can only be appreciated
for sanctity in the rearview mirror
of their painful demise.
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