blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
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from “For the Lost Cathedral”

And then a conflagration spread across
the face of a holy land
which was the cradle of secrets,

entire desert minefields of secrets;
which took the multitudes
for the few, the few for the many;

where the spirit of revenge was rage
against time—take it back:
these words made of sticks and cinders,

of the near at hand, iconography
scratched on prison walls.
Take back the wailing wall of paradise.

The star-spit of the rifle and fuse,
the cavernous bunker thumped
and smoking, brimming with ink—take that.

Take the secret few the sun takes down
like rain, like rust, like a deposition.
Or the sacred ground that opens

its mouth and nothing comes.
Gather up the slow fuel of the multitudes
smeared in oil, entire desert

minefields of oil. Wash them,
name them, carry them off.
Bear them up through the story

you hand your children
like a gun, like all the world
dragged through the needle of heaven,

and see what you have left.  end

   Contributor’s notes

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