The moon as lucid elegy

Flocks of small birds with paper wings
and cracked smiles, wide eyes—they find
the back of a church to dine together
in the watery hold of night. One takes out
a gun, says Here on Earth we Wake to God
and points to the stained-glass arboretum
across the alleyway. Shaking arms & slits
of light, the throat opens so he can take in
the moon, pass a message, pray with no space
between the hands. Glass breaks, stones
fill the air, like rain but easier to fall apart.
Every corner, full of flight, sudden harmonies
of clapping—there might be transcendence,
silence, when everyone wants to weep
but can’t. Those who couldn’t do anything
about it trace the memory of the night
into their wrists. Hold it up to the light now. You’ll see
lines of blood that move like river inlets,
the red that glows.