Only six angels live in Ghent ; three others
Visit routinely. One of those resident
Had the desk three over from mine when I
Worked for three bezants and a bent sequin
(When I could get them) at the Tourist Bureau.
He was a very old angel and had been, he said,
A sort of functionary in the old universe –
The one God did not make.
There had been some sort of fuss in Heaven;
The other clerks told me they’d heard
His praisesong had not been up to standard
While the other angels sang Hosannah!
Or “What glory can compare to His?”
He would mumble “God? A nice chap.
Generous. Holds His liquor well.”
So he had wound up in Ghent .
After office parties it was my job
To see he made it safely home. Some nights
He’d look in the street for a stray pin
And urge me to dance with him on its head
Or remember that angels are able to be at one time
In two places. We would reach his house to find
He was already there. We would rattle the locked door
While he pretended to be asleep.