Force him to witness the forbidden—
Gorgons, sinful cities, for example.
Betray him, ignore him for years
until his heart closes.
Dull his senses with too much work and little chance to sleep.
Train him as an astronaut,
drop his capsule through the atmosphere.
Carve his face into the side of a mountain.
Draft him for a British band named for a proverb.
Enable him to smoke himself into oblivion,
’til he becomes lost to himself and to others.
He could undergo embalming, undergo mummification.
Or to turn a man to rock or stone,
slowly take hope away.
Catherine Fletcher is a New York-based writer. Recent poetry and essays have appeared in journals such as Poetry Wales, The Offing, Rattapallax, and Bird’s Thumb. She is a 2016-17 TWP Science and Religion Fellow at Arizona State University. She previously served as Director of Poetry Programs for the New York-based arts organization City Lore and Managing Director of the Los Angeles-based theater ensemble the Ghost Road Company. For more information please visit cafletcher.blogspot.com.