The strongest prayers are made of bodies
moaned open like a wound. Even now,
like old earth, cathedral ribs are broken
by constant warring. Sun-burned fields torn
by bullets strip soldiers down to white flags,
so the doves are in flight. Say my sanctuaries
are pregnant with bombs carried in by families,
and bullets air out unprayers gasped open by hands.
High above is a god we both surrender to, and mine
is full of stars. I admit, I am guilty. I barely believed
until I needed to. The last time, I believed until
I smelled smoke, and plastic was made alive.
And you, before this blood, you were killing it
in salvation—mistaking thorns for crowns,
poppies to be roses. There were hymns
in the dirt when you wanted to look for them,
untouched gunmetal and faith in the bodies
dropped by planes. Say it never hurt anyone.
Say I am not dipped in blood and fire-shaped.
This is truth. Lives and burnings for a thumbprint’s
worth of ash. Chin up, palms together, the pews
were on fire, and you wanted the water to be holy.