All We Can Do
We do not seek explanations.
Content to feel motion through our senses,
the shrill roar of an airplane's rising suffices
to trade one city's mythology for another.
The city's rising ragged in the last night chill
streets in lines of hallelujah torn from the lips of girls, eyes outlined in black
a dying night-hymn blinking our with the morning's blank neons.
Falling into love in the battered dawn, praying with scarecrow knees
seeing dreams in spires, dreams in grey steel, dreams in rising smoke,
comfort in the dry rust of all dreams blunted by the dormant god in time's passing.
Living creatures under the gaze of stone angels erected to the impossible dream of home,
blunt chiseling toward divinity's frozen eyes forcing home distance,
forcing open the space needed to utter a name.
With clothed minds and sane with the weapons that outweigh us
unleashed in our cold furies accepting nothing less than the purity of ash—
landscapes of ash—seeking the shelter of overwhelming buildings,
ingesting poisons with minds lucid as a pin striking a bell we do not repent.
There's no covenant here, just light separated into its component parts.
Jaw set against our own voices, we swallow empty hours, walk crowded streets, ravenous
eyes crawling skyward against the hard lines of being, swallowing lies, inventing slums.
We take everything suddenly, pick codes from thin air,
confine the trouble we seek to words, whisper for help.
The stunned wondering of our latter days and the solitude of our unholy moments
on hold in line awaiting the coming fire,
the brute material contents of our prayers and the words that fail to hold them—
the fortune of balding tires and thrift store libraries,
blind wishing fullness into empty cupboards sustaining,
our rituals hewn from hidden dreams and all we share and fear made common.
Each small thing tethering atom to atom, self to earth
the soil shaken from the roots of weeds and the weeds' dying
songs and referents and the dividing water's cleansing carrying
and every unclean thing secreted into holy space seeking the pure act.
It's all we can do to keep looking.