American Good Friday


Today we shall weep for last night’s lost basketball game
and no longer for a child shivering in an African hut
still scratching the bites that will kill her.

Mourning rises like incense,
hope crucified on the corpse of a tree.
Wild beasts stalk the land, sniffing the air for a whiff of milk or honey.

Our God is dead, forsaken, broken, whipped by our own flagella.
We cry out for Elijah and the crowd waits in silence
for a chariot of fire to bear us away.
But there are no chariots here anymore,

Only ashes to mark the place where our gold turned to rust, where moths devoured our silken garments and all our barns turned out to be too

Big after all.

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