The crickets trill like geiger counters, stopping
as I pass. I’m radioinactive,
emitting nothing, inert, unattractive;
my half-life started low and just keeps dropping,
decaying many times the speed of life.
The nucleus of being is the ache,
the poisoned tooth that shoots electric bolts
of pain across your skull—ten thousand volts
for each and every infantile mistake.
If God’s wrath ’s not a sword, it’s one big knife.
A cricket starts to tick, resets the beat;
the same atomic pulse since life began.
It echoes in your footsteps down the street.
You think you’ll walk away. You never can.