Artists are taught to slaughter
their babies, those transcendent,
just-right strokes of paint or strings
of words. At the funeral,
some shedding of tears
permitted, but not necessary.
Prometheus was an artist,
chiseled mud into feathers
whittled stones into horns,
a real Michelangelo, you know.
His real masterpiece though,
his baby if you do so incline,
was that lump (you and me
and them) so pathetically
out of line, out-armed.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonder:
posture, consciousness, thumbs—
but let’s face it. We are the babies
Prometheus couldn’t bear to kill, no—
refused to kill. It is all irrelevant—
the result of one demigod’s want
to be a god. Don’t think Zeus allowed that
breach as Prometheus dished out fire
in clandestine fatherhood,
played make-believe better than anyone.
Wouldn’t you want to be worshipped?
This is what arrogance does to you:
time marked by incisions,
a vulture picking at your liver,
as though performing
a necessary operation.