They are tolling
the names again in this dim sanctuary.
The smoke of that long list curls
well into the high corners. Someone sighs,
a long, deep breath, as if settling to sleep
late at night between warm sheets.
Outside a siren wails
in the melting air.
All the voices of the unrescued
moan their prayers through the clogged streets,
like ruach, God’s ancient breath,
warning us to be still and fearful,
as it has for years. Or Peniel,
where some angel wrestles with us in the ruins.
What else could draw me to my knees
in such silence and awe?
Here is a clear-zone
between dark and noon,
the gathering place of those who tremble,
the sanctuary of those who mourn;
who walk on. If we hold hands
we will not be afraid.