A Journal of Formal & Metrical Verse

Das Mädchen ohne Hände listen

The angels interfere too much.
They think to meddle is divine;
they tinker with my grand design,
whittling at it notch by notch.

They see a pretty young fraulein
who’s lost her arms to some debauch.
Without her arms she cannot clutch
the fruit that dangles off the vine.

Without her arms she cannot touch
the part that makes of man a swine.
But O these angels of the Rhine,
they do not offer her a crutch.

They do not care they cross the line,
or whose fine narrative they botch:
new silver hands, explicit crotch,
a marriage bed, a noble wine.

This story's ending turned benign.
God damn the angels that kept watch.
That changeling child, that bridal catch,
the girl was promised me. She’s mine.

By Mike Alexander

Mike Alexander's most recent chapbook We Internet in Different Voices tells a true story, slightly mythologized, of internet abduction. It was brought out recently by Modern Metrics, and is available through EXOT books. Alexander's work has recently appeared in The Raintown Review, River Styx, Other Poetry, & Now Culture.