Poem for a Friend

We came as we were able.
I was Cain and you were Abel.
When you were slain, I was able
to bide within the reclaimed plains
where I revoked your name— “Cain!”
God cried, shame-faced, for Father knew
that he loved me more than he loved you.
For to slay your own brood, brother,
is a wretched thing, and what you bred
you slaughtered, so you could offer blood.
Who could blame a god that hates a fruit
that’s bitter, black, and bruised? So it’s me
who prunes, who always swings the blade
to cut away by God’s command
and raze the rot out from the land.

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