Lift high, brothers, your bayonets,
Split seams into the paper sky
Drain the heavens till they’re dry
Of wine, of shekels, cigarettes.
Fill hollow-pointed minarets
With voices sore from kicked up dust.
Remind us when the windows bust
When tape is stripped from smashed cassettes,
Remind us, we’re still silhouettes—
Holes punched in the disarray
Of weekend passes, back-earned pay,
King Herods and Queen Antoinettes,
Fey viziers and baronets—
We’ve each a shadow, an inked out shape
To fill with what we can’t escape:
Dirty jokes and empty threats,
Faces, flowers, bayonets.
Lift now, brothers, blade to sky,
As the edges of our lives will lie
Against the sun that sets and sets.