© 2019 by Hugh Levick

THE SONG OF PROPHET X

Once again the wind

Blows the future out of reach

 

The faint and disappearing

Fragments I hear I am

Unable to sing back

To those who await them

 

I take refuge in my empty-handedness

 

I take refuge in my vulnerability

 

I take refuge in the pain

That accumulates like sand

Against the eastern wall

 

But how countenance the slow

Grinding down, the shredding

Of my people?

 

Their bodies being made into slums

 

The deformed adjacencies of elbows

And toes

 

The dusky serpent

Leaving their mouths with words

Which fail to reach their destinations

 

Though we have castrated ourselves

So the rulers will know

That the befouling of their daughters

Was not our doing

The land aches with thirst

The burden of lies un-roots the wheat

Ice grows from the center

Of the earth

And mountains melt, their torrents

Carrying burning creatures

Into the valleys

 

Enslaved by the wretchedly rich

We have risen up

And been slaughtered

 

Conscripted into wars of greed

We have been killed

By the thousands

 

Deceived by middlemen and moneylenders

We have surrendered our birthright

 

Already rumors

That the sacrificial smoke

Ascends to emptiness

Run through the camps and prisons

 

The promise of unreality,

Our greatest hope,

Dances at day’s end

In the pillared cradles of desire

 

Why tear asunder

The lines of invisibility

Which bind my people

To hopeless prayer?

 

Rather dig the shards

Of ancient melodies

From their flesh,

Allow them to forget

Everything we have lost

 

The numbness of our gods

Darkens my way

Binding me to the sad exile

Of those I struggled to uplift.

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