I cannot in good conscience wake with dawn.
Too much like prayer her mercy bearing breath
Would smoke my mortal from his hollow place,
Choke from his holy throat the ancient voice,
And skew the sense on which my vision rests.
Love breaks the bones of those it loves the best.
My ink, run dry, a coffin for a well,
Will spell no shapes of action on the page,
A rock rolled tomb its sentenced resting place.
No three-day age shall save my soul before
I fight unarmed among the weaponed dead.
My wicked act has birthed a bloody boy.
The distance in his eye no lesser than
The mass of days sunk under summing sands
Nor more the second of a season’s turn.
A time measured only in footsteps by those
Whose epitaphs are stories, tortured like proof,
Of tear-and-scar fables orphaned from truth.
For only as long as forever may be
These quiet heroes, commonest of men,
Whose souls are simply ghosts to haunt their graves,
Tangle the turnings of this sun-spun world
And stifle like the thorn-sown seed a dream
Concocted in a crucible of love.
I’m owed no debt of grief this side of heaven.
The asylum of stars where Worship walks
In Sunday stride beside its martyr, Faith,
Shall not among its chancers chalk my name.
I owe no debtor’s coin to pay for such
Absurdities, whichever kingdom comes.