Aladdin And The Ghost At The Guilty Door

- To The Fallen -

There’s no pleasing anyone
once you go to war.
There’s more to survival than returning.
One climbs fast as the rest fall down,
and to the ghost at the guilty door,
who does get home, goes nothing.

In the whole household of his life
the sly ones keep on thieving.
They pick his pocket while he’s dining,
perhaps to find in his heart a leaf
of the tree of knowledge they resent,
or a wound still there that they badly want.

Up the steps of their masked dungeon, damp
to a medieval door,
they slide like confessional instruments
to extract and possess his worst offence.
The worst wound of his woebegone war
healed to their want of the wonderful lamp

of some Aladdin, a sesame magic
like his at their guilty door.
Even the most residual gift
of a genie should have been theirs like logic.
There’s no pleasing the angels of theft
once you go to war.