Saturday, August 04, 2007

As of Burning Heat

In long afternoons, sun burning white
Glaring the eyes to darkness
The air shimmers above the
Heated pavement – which holds fire
Like a miser, compounding
Heat with interest, building fire
In the stone, the brick of Babylon.

Firefights in the baked streets,
Ceremonies of atonement
Ashes in the mouths
And blood on the stone
Baking in the sun,
Miserere, miserere!
Beating the breast,
Tearing the cloth
The fabric of a people.

But not cloth, it is not
Cloth, but flesh
Of our flesh,
Bone of our bone
Flashing out in a
Sacrificed to atone
For what hubris?

Not one of our own,
Thank God,
We don’t count
The natives, only
Our own, our own
Sons on the altar
Knife poised
Waiting for the ram
In the bushes
The voice to call
Abraham, Abraham!
The bronze voice calling
Tolling the dead,
Into the furnace...


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