When your hand opened and the kingdom flew out
we wanted to catch it in our open mitts,
to hold it in our palms and swiftly seal our fingers,
allow only the slightest promise to show through,
parade it through the streets and show it
like a tattoo that marked our tribe.
But it wasn’t in hand, it was at hand,
the etched, calloused, worn, scarred,
the smooth, extended, gripped,
the tender, the kissed, the held,
the open and adoring, pierced.
A Stone Court in Gabbatha
Deft with word, wafting
the split tongue of law,
I stand at the seat of judgment
yet do not declare,
dumb, stricken by fear
of speaking out, of speaking for.
The crowd is Rabble,
and I am the crowd.
So I condemn by silence
on this stone court,
I sway in the gnashing masses,
one with its turgid miasma.
How do I wash away silence?
How do I wash away standing mute
like an instrument not played,
my love with its strings
of faith left unplucked?
Bio: Jeff Burt has work in Dandelion Farm Review, Verse Wisconsin, Windfall, and Nature Writing.