Thick as Blood by Melissa Chappell

poem reflecting on contemporary troubles

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It began when the center of the world

caught fire with a spark,

and Notre Dame burned down to her bones.

Still, her wounds smoulder

when the rain falls thick as blood

            on the paper obelisk,

charred, cindered, yet its

blackened stains strain

to name the craven miscreants

who flee as the rain falls thick as blood

            upon us, two spires,

water running between our bodies,

bare, bone on bone.

I wash the ashes from you in the soaking rain,

bathing the wounds of

the engulfed, raging world,

raging, as the rain falls thick as blood

            drenching a man

with an AK-47 standing on the courthouse steps.

We await the minute when

bullets blaze a trail through air,

splitting raindrops,

splitting time,

splitting bodies

as the rain that falls thick as blood

            over us two spires.

For a singular moment we will be

the center of the world,

stealing a fistful of the holy,

washed clean,

spyring, uncharred,

scraping the firmament

so that redemption falls like rain,

flooding our hungering cities,

absconding with

the brittle shame,

thick as thieves,

thick as blood.

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