Mark Jarman

Headlong in your career, breathing out threatenings
And slaughter against enemies, dictating trouble
for anyone advanced ahead of you, gambling
That you can stay ahead of your rep, checking off
The list of those to chop off at the top, and the place
Your name will be inked in, all the while businesslike,
Congenial with associates and flattering
To authorities and enforcers, bloody and obscene
Only in private mutterings and unspoken dreams,
On your way to yet another hanging, stoning, gossip-
Mongering swap meet of assassins, you’re surprised
As much as anyone to be chosen—though it requires
A certain blindness on your part and such a change
You wouldn’t know yourself—a vessel of grace.