Oh, Mercury! clad always tall in the uniform
crinkled dust jacket of your industry, which runs
from your cloudy cap
down the long length of your rough paper
back, to the tops of your rubble stone road-
building lumps of black shoes—
protect us thieving sinners
and conniving hitch-
hikers and poor almanac writers;
all of us, so tired, and so haunted
by the very things we have spurned—
hear us, and give us some shelter
and some time, to heal and to listen, or
to just enjoy the silence, and to learn.
But above all, please continue to deliver,
each of our letters—not just
the "love" kind, but the angry
and inarticulate and wrongheaded
and disgusting ones—all mercifully
left unopened, without so much
as a touch
of morality or concern
stamped upon the face of
their lonely white envelopes, because
it is only the warm movement
of exchange which you treasure, and not
the weight of the message,
or the cold commerce of the terms.
In short, please show your indentured
league of bedraggled authors some mercy
by always remaining—
neither humble, nor ambitious;
but rather, that much less celebrated mode
which underscores them both:
forever shameless, divinely unconcerned.
Or, since you're in a hurry,
here are terms
still-plainer: for Christsakes, Hermes, old buddy—don't be a God!
Just be a messenger.