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Past Life Aggression

Perhaps I was a ruthless Khan,

vengeful, without mercy,

who cut down peasants

by the thousands,

taking an unsheathed sword

to young mothers and their babes;


or I may have dwelt in dungeons,

coaxing heretics to confess,

beat remorse from wicked witches

and any soul who wouldn’t kneel

at the foot of the pious, Papal throne.


Was I simply just a gadabout

who cheated on his wife? A rogue

who left his children

for the warmth of a harlot’s touch?


Did I ridicule the Crown,

crudely scrawl on Cambridge walls?


Did my horse

trample Queen Anne’s Lace?

Had I ignored its defecation?


My dearest, would-be betrothed,

is the reason for your “no”

the fact I deserted my troops in the war?

Had I fled from German flags,

escaped an ambush out of fear?


Or was I incredibly initiative instead –

start a firestorm in Dresden,

drop a Nagasaki nuke?


Did I watch as the Chinese starved,

give my approval to the Red Star State?


If so, please forgive me my transgressions:

taking the Name

of the Lord in vain;

my callous killings of the innocent;

my drunken, playboy ways.


Impart to me your pardon,

your blessed, fragrant kiss –

not the one that Judas gave

but the caress of Juliet,

the embrace of Bouguereau, eternal;

the one that ends the cycle, trips

karma at the finish line.




Andreas Gripp



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