The sun screams down.
This is my desert place
In the heart’s geography,
Leaning out from you.
I have seen the dear desires
Fall away into dust, red dust:
Iron of my heart’s blood
Falling away to nothing,
Crumbling into the wind,
With a mouth too dry to sing.
Dragons are in this place,
Small, skittering, spiny,
But these are not our condemnation.
The other dragons, coiled around our hearts,
Whose honey drips with malice,
These are our habitation,
Till we wear their ugliness with pride.
“Go back! Go back!”
Let the children drown,
Let their lives be locked in iron,
Let us turn our foolish backs, imagining,
We can blot out their pain,
While we stand at the point of breaking,
And the three wise monkeys cling tight to our shoulders.
The names ring through our history:
Tampa, Manus, Nauru,
But, with fingers in our ears,
We try to paint our red dust white.
We stand in the ancient garden,
But we will not kneel to pray,
Preferring to send others to the cross,
The meeting place of blood,
The communion of our commonality.
While the lone few stand their vigil
We cannot watch one hour.
The babbled excuses of the comfortable
Burn down to bloodless dust,
Our white bones in the desert -
They gleam like whited sepulchres
Until the red dust blows.
Whom, then, do we crucify,If not the Son of Man?