Through the Slaughter

Through the Slaughter


and Bialik

Sky—have mercy.
When flechettes fly
forth from a shell,

shot by a tank

taking Ezekiel’s

chariot’s name—

When their thin fins
invisibly whiz,
whiflling the air
like angels, wings—
their metal feathers
guiding them in—

When their hooks rip
through random flesh
in a promise of land
with its boring sun—
Is it like the priests,
release in Leviticus?

The male without blemish
and dashed blood?
The limbs in pieces?
The tents of meeting?
The burnt offering?
Does it hasten deliverance?

Or summon Presence?
Is its savor pleasant?
As the rage unfurls
in a storm of flame
and the darts deploy
in a shawl of pain?

Does it soar like justice?
Contain a God?
Expose a Source?
What will is known?
Does it touch a throne?
Can we see a crown?

As the swarm scorches
the air with anger,
and the torches of righteousness
extend their reach—
What power is power?
Whose heart gives out?

When skin is pierced
to receive that flight,
what light gets in?
What’s left of sin?
What cause is served?
What cry is heard?

Wben the blood of infants

and elders spurts

across t-shirts
does it figure forever?
As it wreaks its change
and seeks revenge

above the abyss?
Could Satan devise

vengeance like this—
war which is just…
an art of darkness?
Have mercy, sky.

Jerusalem, The Gaza War, 2014

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