Desert Chorus

In the rich chorus of night, cosseted
beneath a web os diamonds, tiny
as mosquito eyes, a stranger mourns
the brevity of desert rain
a swaddled enemy’s cries.

Soon the sun will ascend over Libra.
Can it matter? We have bombed
Benghazi. A dazed warhead struck
the compound of our foe lying alive,
his eyes white, black rimmed.
He could be heard crying in the desert
with arms now orphaned,
his infant swept into a burlap sack.
To what purpose?
The gold leaf of surrender?

The sun will ascend. Can it matter?

A poet sealed in skin disrobed, split.

Jean Genet, a thief in flight,

astray in the weave laid down

his arms spiraling in a length

of mosquito netting, dotted with eyes

of onyx, blinking above a one-star

Paris Hotel indifferent to a bugger

a swaggering son of a bitch.

How shall his soul be redeemed

If not suffered by a little girl?

The dawn breaks the tempered heart
exposing a love for all things.
Hana Qaddafi, child of the flowers,
lead him across the violent threshold
where his marvelous pals await.
His prison a house of cards
collapsing in columns of roses-
a garland for your heads.
Let your ashes anoint him.
He will magnify your name.
Opal hands gathering you
in a bridal train.

Patti Smith

Auguries of Innocence
HarperCollins, 2005

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