- POETRY -

SOLDIERS

Glenn Shaheen

ISSUE TWELVE | SPRING 2019

The energy of the church is said

to help the neighborhood, to heal

those who look upon its vacant

glass, religious or not; who desire

to wring the necks of those who

may hurt us yet do not wring

those necks; who say they want

help and do want help, the church

a matrix among the patterns of

force that web the air like veins.

I don’t dislike it, I am just tired.

Answers, I don’t have them, but

endless useless compassion. Those

who benefit from the church may

see a thousand leaves but I see

a glittering wreckage. I have not been

asked to hurt and I do not wish

to enact any hurt. I trace my finger

along strands in my palm and

remember the pains I have enacted

on those who have loved me,

touchstones separating moments

in my life like stillborn children.

A square of wood falling on tile.

I like to see a church but I like

to see a ruined church even more.

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Glenn Shaheen is the author of four books, most recently the flash fiction collection Carnivalia (Gold Wake Press 2018).

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