Saint Michael Triumphant Over the Devil, With the Donor Antonio Juan
Oi, Mr. Patron Saint of Bankers,
won’t you take your foot off my tail?
It’s hardly a fair fight, is it:
I’m much smaller than you
and made of duller metal
like some discarded robot,
a machinic sob story, that’s me.
Show some respect for your elders.
Here you are, head in golden sky,
Jerusalem on your chest like bling,
while I’m rusting and writhing
on my belly in the mud
like it’s something I enjoy or my job.
As if that isn’t enough, I have to listen
to your mate over there
droning on with his psalms
while you dismember me
with a sword which cost more
than all of my rust put together.
What a way to go: chopped up
and bored at the same time.
I thought I might go with a bang
or with a Jezebel (which is the same thing).
You seem to forget there’d be no swords,
psalms, gold, bankers without me.
You lot make me sick. You make
my stomach bring up snakes.
What you gonna do when I’m dead, hey?
Kill the frigging painter, poor Bartolomé?
Well, watch out. I may be a goner,
but there’ll be plenty of others coming after.
There’ll be plenty who’ll take my place:
other robots, underlings, small Satans.
You can’t win because you can’t
do without us, however you detest us.
And for now, you self-righteous sod,
I’m at least going to bite your foot.
Jonathan Taylor's books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), the memoir Take Me Home: Parkinson's, My Father, Myself (Granta, 2007), and the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). He is director of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester in the UK. His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
The Ekphrastic Review
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