“Thou foster-child of silence and slow time…” ~ John Keats

Make me a sweet to taste slow,
a honey with the aftertaste of meadow
in the hiatus after war.

Even before the tanks have rolled away,
take me like the winged congregation
storms rafters holding up the broken roofs,

like the ones who break from the ranks
to salvage makeshift nests in eye-sockets
of dictators’ blasted monuments.

Do not make of me an afterthought
that flickers before fire’s consuming,
and do not lay me in a frozen crypt

to arrest the worms’ furious
decoding. Because we’ll soon
in the river’s current follow,

tell me the tears we’ve shed have turned
into clean stones to lay in pairs on the faces
of all our dead; that there are sacraments we

can still burn in these dwindling days:
santalum reed and balsam, camphored breath
fluting through these hollow bones.


In response to Via Negativa: Time capsule.

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