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song of the love atheist


by strannikov


it took only time:

the small gears within the gears

had but to unwind.

 

illusions must die,

that's it, right? —or is it time

consolations die?

 

our grandfathers' god,

being dead, will not be heard

(together they died).

 

ghosts to bury, yes,

the minds upstairs decide—we

trust them and obey.

 

we move without god,

we sleep undisturbed by one

who never wakes us.

 

—or so say we all:

in our sleep we spill prayers out

from our scrambled souls.

 

—but still, people say:

“there is no god for us all,

only private gods”

 

(“death to any god

refusing to worship us”,

our simple decree).

 

—but who'd've thought much

that any moribund god

would knock rivals down?

 

if sparrows fall dead

without the first godly glance,

they are in fact dead:

 

and if “holy” is

not any name fit for use,

why hang on to “good”?

 

why the taunt that poor

birds' deaths are evil, not good?

no choice: neither, both.

 

—distinction collapsed,

categories disowned, our

full powers return:

 

all decisions now

are entirely all our own,

we make no mistakes.

 

(animals we are

will devour us all or our

hunger we escape—

 

we animals will

surmount our condition or

to it we succumb.)

 

expedient “good”

is mere expedience: no

“goodness” has its “good”,

 

no way to prefer

any “good” that is no more

than preference, no.

 

(as values collapse,

don't raise unseemly alarms

that will not be heard.)

 

dispense, then, with love—

its presumption, its belief,

its notion, its lie:

 

for there is no love,

no ability to love,

no desire for love.

 

apotheosis

of self-consolation, love

consoles that which loves:

 

“love” names who or what

we want but not what we do:

somehow, grammar failed.

 

love no more extends

far enough to reach across

a stream stepped across—

 

whatever love had,

curiosity's been lost,

ev'ry eye now sees:

 

whatever it had,

love has lost transitive strength

needed to arrive.


in internal depths

does love penetrate grief, does

love confront all grief?

 

love? not today. love?

not for the next million years,

our past million say.

 

our metrics of love,

given our love for the count,

show nothing we love.

 

“love” is a null set—

an empty nest fit to hatch

flocks of hollow shells.

 

this rotating earth

gains no velocity—none—

from the force of love.


love is not physics,

bodies are not moved by it,

attracted, repelled:


chemical, love's not

(too many metals distract

with lusters their own),


"chemical", love is

(as long as saccharine is

served in coffees sweet).

 

love now is no force

to console the dead, to raise

the living to wake.

 

(a more jealous god

slays another, you may say:

but enough of that.)


 

you see less here, yes,

because less is to be seen

once we've moved our brooms,

 

but do you see this:

these chisels we wield, our brooms,

are for sweeping clean.

 

(if now you quote me

“being clean makes near to god”,

I shall chisel thee!)

 

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