Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Jackal's Tongue

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.”

- 1 Corinthians 13:1

Black jackal in the desert giving tongue
whose echoes shake the hanging cymbals
in the conqueror’s tents: Make faint their hearts.
Vengeful ghosts come forth across the sand.

The hourglass empties itself of sand
as the minutes whisper from tongue to tongue.
We’re no longer convinced by flags and symbols
for there’s too much desolation in these hearts—

too much broken glass in these hearts
too much blood spilled on foreign sands
too many curse our names in foreign tongues.
You still mean us to march to drums and cymbals

but don’t imagine that I speak symbolically
for these are the words of an angry heart.
You fed my generation on lies and sand.
Now we speak truth in the jackal’s tongue.

Your tongue is the sound of an empty cymbal.
False prophet, your heart bleeds sand.

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