Terence Winch


Leave me alone. Show me no mercy.
Don't heal me. Don't put more joy in my heart.

Your words are abominable. Your actions unspeakable.
I ask you please to take no notice of me.

When it's dark, you make it darker. When we flatter you,
you turn everything clean into a thing of filth.

Please don't eavesdrop on us. Pay no attention to our
adversaries. Do not cleanse me or them of our crimes.

When the earth shakes and the waters flood, I do not think of you.
When I'm on a high place with a song in my heart, you're the last thing on
        my mind.

These are not burnt offerings. They are the hamburgers we eat for dinner.
Your power is not in my bones. My cries are not in your ear.

My transgressions give refreshment to my soul. I will cut my clothes up
and throw them off a mountain if you will only abandon us.

Hide your face. Stay away from our dances and funerals.
We write your name in dust then forget all about you.

Terence Winch
Terence Winch’s most recent book is THAT SPECIAL PLACE: NEW WORLD IRISH STORIES (Hanging Loose, 2004), a book of non-fiction pieces. His last book of poems is THE DRIFT OF THINGS (2001, The Figures); his work has appeared in several Best American Poetry collections, as well as in Verse, Paris Review, New American Writing, and elsewhere.



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