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Deus Ex 

"Though we dream of dying at our curtain, / most are carried off mid-speech / or awaiting cue"

Published onAug 23, 2020
Deus Ex 

Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash

I left you the Dear letter,

anger for a signature,

when I heard the way, in Mirages, you made

the actor’s body crane

beneath a fig tree; the box he needed

to stand on, inexplicably missing—how 

you lured a guiltless audience

into assuming silence part 


of the play, the terminal coiling

a student of the caduceus saw

too late to save

a breathless theodicy. The same day

the hoist of a NYC bridge crane

returned to earth to crush a banker  

walking the parados to the office,

his catastrophe also the operator’s.   


Though we dream of dying at our curtain,

most are carried off mid-speech

or awaiting cue—Death’s not

as it was for Dionysus, offstage

to keep the ceremony sacred. Our altars

are nowhere near our performances 

& God is not in the audience waiting

as we dress, only wanting to be working.




Max Heinegg’s poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. He has been a finalist for the poetry prizes of Crab Creek Review, December Magazine, Cultural Weekly, Cutthroat, Rougarou, Asheville Poetry Review, Twyckenham Notes and Nazim Hikmet. Also a singer-songwriter, his records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com

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