There once were what were called unions.
They were organizations formed to advocate for working men.
Their adversaries were called management, those with huge coffers of money
spilling over the cataracts of sweat during the endless working day and horses’ wet flanks
or mules straining to pull the heavy loads of coal up the always rising tracks needing an engine
running on coal and fire fed constantly by me and my ilk with our shovels always ready to work.
There were once brothels peopled by girls
who more justly should be called women save for the fact of God
and His determined resistance to saving their souls after His son had tried to be
their advocate when the Pharisees demanded they be stoned in the public square by those
who always knew they would be called upon to cleanse the flesh pots of Egypt or wherever sin
could be found not only then but now so why bother to find new names for what was always sin?
The snake the shape of the penis, the worm
in the apple causing the juices to rise to the top and flood over.
Every man worth the price of the salt in his veins wanted to lie with abundance
girding his loins in her opulent bed. Every woman who wished to make her very own way
in this world knew the final thing she owned that could be sold was the body encasing her soul.
Too many times, in too many places on earth, the penis found the apple in time to buy its juices.
The unions unionized the brothels as much as the mines. The mines were under the earth, houses
above. When the men were finished with the day’s work they rode the elevator to the top.
There they drank and ate and watched while women circulated among them there.
There and there and there. The men wanted only what the women wanted.
Or so it was said in the year come true for the spirit offering the flesh
surcease and abundance from the loins for pleasure or for children.
Overtime was what it was called, this endless need to be happy.
Money could always buy happiness. Everyone knew that.
The brothels always opened once the mines closed.
There were always an ample number of women
to satisfy the needs of the men called lust.
Overtime was never known as love.
It is impossible to predict the future
by reading the present as it flows
inexorably into the recent past.
Surely the day is at hand
when night will shine
as bright as any sun.
(10 October 2010)