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Protocol of Angels

Matthew Olzmann

A rescue squad peers down from the edge of heaven.
There’s a man down there, drowning, a speck of lint lost
in a blue funnel, but from the ocean, if one leans closer,
turns out he looks like you—the drowning man—
thrashing in the storm. Up above, several angels
grab life vests and prepare to dive in. Yes,
they could save you—
because truthfully, there’s no one they can’t save,
but should they? The angels start to argue and even though
you’re miles below, you hear what might be shouting
or just one more wave rolling over you,
hauling you inside.

Matthew Olzmann

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