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Consequentialism at the Pearly Gates

by Daniel Galef

‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions’?
But what of the reverse? Just like some un-
expectedly benevolent inventions
(penicillin was first designed to be a gun),
ill will can double-cross itself: a power
of pure destruction, terrible and terrific,
like spoiled wine into water may un-sour,
begrudgingly prove . . . utile – optimific.
The steps to Heaven glint with evil’s glamour;
is such salvation simply an award
for those who, stoking fires of Götterdämmer-
ung, before the raging forge grow bored,
until they, fumbling blindly with a hammer,
bang a ploughshare from a bungled sword?

© Daniel Galef 2023

Daniel Galef is a lapsed philosophy major who currently teaches literature and rhetoric at the University of Cincinnati. His first poetry book Imaginary Sonnets, is out this summer from Able Muse Press.

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