Picture a city
and the survivors: from their
windows, some scream. Others
walk the aftermath: blood
and still more blood coming
from the mouth of a girl.
This is the same movie
playing all over
the world: starring everybody
who ends up where the action
is: lights, cameras, close-ups—that
used to be somebody’s leg.
Let’s stop talking
about God. Try to shut-up
about heaven: some of our friends
who should be alive are no longer alive.
Moment by moment death moves
and memory doesn’t remember,
not for long: even today—even
this, even knowing that
someone is stealing
our lives—I still
Tell the truth. If you can.
Does it matter who they were,
the bodies in the rubble: could it matter
that the girl was conceived by two people
buried in each other’s arms, believing
completely in the world between them?
The commanders are ready. The killers
are everywhere. Almost all of them
believe in God. But somebody should
hold a note for the Earth,
a few words for whatever being
human could mean
beneath the forgotten sky:
some day one night,
when the city lights go out for good,
you won’t believe how many stars
“Faith” first appeared in Ploughshares, Spring 2009.