by Noel T. Jones
O, sheet of paper strapped before me,
Pressing my lips against my lips,
My breath against my breath,
Protecting others from what may be inside me.
Deliver steam upon my lenses,
And hide my smile from those who see me.
Will you prevent my prayers from reaching,
Those who are facing the hour of their deaths alone?
Wash not the blood from the hands of the culpable,
As we seek light where there is darkness
O, disparity of wealth above us,
Through you, due to you, some suffer more than others,
It is not for us to question why the powers that be are the powers that be
Allow us to allow them to take freely
Needed by nurses and doctors who serve thee.
Bestow a plague upon houses that do not smear the blood of greed above their doors
Forgive us our lack of second homes, and easily granted loans, and red lines some could not cross, while seeking a manger of their own
In service to your wrath,
O, pots and pans clamoring,
Warning those within earshot of the lepers infected with hope and praise,
A contagious recognition of those who serve.
Lo, forget not the transgressions against those on the streets
Who hear the percussive cookware from up high,
Those whose bellies bloat, beatific in their starvation in this desert of a city
Dripping milky puss from untended wounds, craving a salve of honey to sweeten their fates, receiving undeserved furies.
We must offer a seat at, not just some crumbs from a new table,
Built from the splinters of the wall we will send tumbling down.
And we as compassionate carpenters will assemble
In our glory, forever and ever