Tom Laichas

Guardian Angels Witness More Lives Than Yours
May 23, 2024 Laichas Tom

Guardian Angels Witness More Lives Than Yours


You are eight years old. Your angel watches as you pull wings from a butterfly’s thorax. The butterfly’s
angel watches the day-old insect writhe. The two angels watch one another as one creature lives and
the other dies.


To feel your way into your life, you kill that small creature. Later, you don’t need such cruelty. Your
angel knows this. The dead butterfly’s angel knows too.


Over the whole earth’s scalp, lives uncountable. Above each body hovers an angel. Each angel gazes
at the others, each watcher witnessed.


We desire to become angels, to outlast creation’s brokenness. Our angels witness this desire, held in
each human chest like a caged songbird.


Our eyes also witness. We too observe and marvel. But we are not angels. We watch until our attention
drifts. We forget our own brutality.

Tom Laichas is author of three books of poetry, most recently Three Hundred Streets of Venice California (FutureCycle Press, 2023). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Times, The Irish Times, Breakwater, Aesthetica (UK), Main Street Rag, The High Window Review (UK), and elsewhere. He lives with his family in Venice, California.