Imagine Heaven (whatever it is) like a hammer:
To fix all this shabbiness,
To bust the comrades out of cages,
To build the idyllic home,
To nail your feet to all the answers—
Heaven. Not a place, but a tool.
I heard the crack of a driving hammer—
Distant, but certainly a hammer—
And I deflated, relieved,
My tension unbinding my shoulders,
Relaxing like silk blue ribbons—
Salvation came for one of us!
I lied. I heard nothing. I feel the same.
I mean, imagine. This tool, who could wield it?
Is Heaven’s power to save the same
If it can’t swing itself? Must I do it?
In human hands, isn’t Heaven a hazard
To mishandle? To injure oneself, the desperate?
See, I can’t think of Heaven without maligning it.
Even a secular Heaven—earthly, tactile,
Something I could find here—
I doubt it like the one in the sky,
A happiness I can’t keep tabs on,
Bound out of reach by despair,
Dancing in the corners of my eyes,
Never there when I turn to look.
These hands obey a brain that can’t believe.
So Hope, wherever you are, you devil,
Drive me out of my head for one night at least,
And I’ll give you a year of my life
For each minute of freedom that follows.
Give me that, please, and tremble to imagine
The beautiful things these hands would do.