A Sudden Blaze
by Loretta Diane Walker

(After Tony Hoagland)
“Love is not a victory march
it’s a cold and it's a broken hallelujah...."
~ Leonard Cohen

Meet me where the sun loiterers on hinge of sky,
where light has licked away layers of bushy darkness.

Meet me between the cold-faced house
with broken hallelujahs spilling out the windows,
between the hungry boy’s bony bare shoulders,
between the memories of my ancestors chained ankles.

Meet me between Kobani and Bodrum’s beach,
between anonymous faces floating in a fruitless channel
where the wings of twelve wounded birds stop flapping
in a dark wet limb of space.

Meet me between the slashed syllables
of in/ex/plic/a/ble

where shirts have no bones or flesh
to lift them from muddied water,
where refugees are treated like bombs.

Meet me under the fruitless mulberry
where the neon 7-11 sign sings its electronic song,
where the blue-eyed lady with the torn velvet coat
rants about kisses with violence, poverty, vigilance
between the flame and feather inked on her thigh.

Meet me where struggle is an evening meal,
and the condemned solicits cornflakes for breakfast.

Meet me between suddenly
and finally the filling of empty purses,
where humanity’s compassion is in probate.

Between the air where some political pundits pimp
prejudice for profit.
Between the chamber and bullet of a black Kel-Tec PF-9
that snuffed out the life of a seventeen-year-old,
between the motives of a mother’s $250,000
pay-out for “Murderabalia.”

Meet me between the red-knuckled rage
of abused women and passing grief,
between their baptismal pool of tears.

Meet me where love is an emergency,
where peace wades through a warren of dreamlight,
where the prints of her bare feet are tattooed
on those souls who are willing to make a difference.


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