Michael Karl (Ritchie)
Angels Turn Away Their Faces


You would have thought
they would have flown
up, their feathers caught
in the whirlwind, in the updraft,
cresting the coiling snake, not
down the duodenum of smoke,
thousands of souls suddenly
ripped from the flesh.

You would have thought
they would have flown
up, not razored down
by gravity
into a stench.

They should have flown up,
but the angels turned away
their faces. Stone figures,
caked with dust, emerged
from the basalt as if human.

Where there was light,
there was too much light.

They should have flown up,
but the angels turned away
their faces.