Death Wish

You can lead a horse out of a fire,
and he’ll run right back in
, he said,
laconic in the aftermath of ruin,
the loss of his barn and herd;
laid out cold with a concussion
on the second try at saving them
from the flames, lucky to be 
alive. Some unkiltered appetite
skews the gyroscope of sense, 
mole in a riddled hemisphere
of the equine brain. 

Current sequencing shows that
even the humble banana shares 
our DNA. Maybe this behaviour
is a consequence of whatever 
mutation cascades lemmings 
into fjords, muddled rodents
mad to eschew logic, 
bargain the here-and-now
for apple-pie-in-the-sky. 

The burning doorway beckons
in a billion little heads.
On the TV screen, state after state
turns red.

©2007 F.J. Bergmann

"Death Wish" appeared in the Atlanta Review Fall/Winter 2007 and recieved an International Publication Prize.

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