Terror Song

Terror Song

Terror Song 1539 883 Rob Cook

O Lord hiding in the sand—
For how long have scorpions filled you—

O Lord you are a scorpion getting smaller

How many nights have only
helicopters loved us—

O Lord praying
to the landmines
for a torso to follow you,
to be in pieces the way you are
in pieces

O Lord breathing because we cannot
find your head

A mother took us into the doorway
where she lived
and showed us flowers planted with her daughter’s
eyelashes and black fevers

Did she ask you for the prayer
her strongest son sweated into the desert

when the fire was a voice falling
and he could feel your blistered hair
that was still the color of water—

We washed the clouds
from your flesh

and made up words
for your charcoal kingdom

We let the suicides continue
We stole the songs from a fly
to speak to you, Lord

sleeping with shrapnel
in the slashed-open bowels of a lamb

Header photograph © Loretta Bloom.

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