Barrette, Elizabeth: “Heaven Spent”

Heaven Spent

by Elizabeth Barrette

What happens to a whore’s guardian angel?
Does he give up? Does he get lost?
Does he get into nightly fights with the devil
Sitting pretty on her other shoulder, and wake
Every morning with a black eye and a broken pinion?
Does he hold on, determined to do his duty,
Following her doggedly into dens of iniquity, denying
That he deserves better, that she deserves worse,
Trying to hold the whole weight of her out of Hell?
Or does he, finally, close his wings in defeat, shed them
From his shoulders as a drone does, take human form
And take the Fall with her?