These Halls are Full

this is a siren's redress
tiring of songs that sing to shipwrecks
she enters this house and holds out her vacant palms, an offering
the halls are filling
and the kitchen is already full

the gathering hands are soiled
with a great many works
and they bring their stories to banquet
outside there is afuneral,
a returning to the earth
of a borrowed vessel

inside a swirling rage
and a giddy hope
these are the winds
that make this house sway and creak

it is a speaking from the place
a sense of which the gathered all share
and all of which
a little girl now takes
into silence

she floats the wood floors
with a steady tread through the crowd
black blues her cheek
you'll find blood at her lip
the fumes of her mother
's death still
twist in her nostrils
and a steady sweat paints her brow

but she walks with a straight back

her will is erupting
a trigger-emptied steel clip
smeared the oils on her skin
the lilac and the lily
are smells of a childhood that perished
with the birth of a certain entitlement
in the three burst blast, steel squeeze of the market's doctrine

she holds in her hand
the spent lead on which this movement will now turn
the blood on her mouth is not her own
she'd kissed her mother's lips
while begging these bullets from her broken skull
to be kept in the circles of purpose

through the kitchen and the yard
a quiet march
with still screaming bullets carried person to person

she lifts her hand
and says
inhale the memory
a scent to preserve the woman in the ground
this is a new fury birthed on behalf of the buried
whispering, 'all hell must not stop us now'

on the counter she leaves the bullets
next to bread for breaking
offers the lead which turns the movement
in exchange for hope
that tommorw may still be for the taking

meanwhile jesus is carving in darkness
the back of that fabled stone

while the angels gather
with the sinners in the yard
Mary's in the garden
and the Christ's hands are bloodied again

an exhausted closed fist
composes God's grip on these nails
working hell from the rock

he pried the nails from his palms
and in his delirium
the Christ finger painted pictures
of little girls carrying bullets
through the houses of makers of change

he licked the tip of his iron quill
to dip in the crimson of his ink
and push into this rock
a single verse, the holiest brevity of scripture

live free or die you that dwell in this house
these halls are full
and the world is wanting
take up your bursting heart
ours will be a story of creation yet

let them roll away our stones
and find all our tombs empty
may our allegiance counfound their accountants
and our new madonna
be the memory of this
and many
broken little girls' mothers

and then our tombs they will find empty
they will not smoke this truth from our lungs
we are better than the flames that burn our houses
and the hands that crucify our hopes

we share the noose
that hangs our neighbor
so bring them all in.
feed them well and name them precious
grace their face with your deepest welcome
build and name your home
but cut the locks
and bury the doors and dance on them
there are none to be turned away.

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