Hands, Glistening

We’ve set in our hands
the tomes we need for our learning,
but while the thoughts are glistening
on the altarblocks where no one listens,
the cinder-world is turning, turning.

All hands, mangled, withered,
falling and sawing into rhythm,
one into the other, writhing, biding time
until the hand-over-hand, one-up
for another is the essence of the
     damned.

Smile for me now, all who keep watch,
and smile for the hours in which we
     pay.
A ragged for a wretch and a penny
for no thoughts.  Watch, now, smilers,
and all will be decay, decay.

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