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.

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