The poet stands beside the soldiers;
he is dressed in cloths of yellow linen;
in his hand a bucket of sepia ink sloshes
like the blood of protection; in his other,
the brush, its bristles gathered to a point.
Outside a world will wonder at the wrath
of sweet peace, making God who has
his history of filling the streets
with the mutilated body of sinners,
who understands the language
of stinking corpses, who knows
mercy and the absence of memory,
whose sorrow was heaviest
when one slender body stretched
and split on a slab of wood.
The poet must step into the city
to write haiku on the foreheads
of those who lament, bewildered
by the wickedness of the people;
lines of revelation in the senna
hieroglyphs; a mark, a brand,
a stroke of hope on the lintels
of their faces. The poet must weep
when he returns, his linen
garments brown with the blood
of promise, his feet sticky
with the spilled blood of despair.
A soh it go.