Drink our brother’s blood like rum
as liquor green glass filters room light.
Pray something grows but be mortified it blooms
as rattlesnakes ‘round noose ropes.
Carry crosses above gravestone colored capitals
and hope roots don’t stem from past
cast curses towards daughters or cast stones
pelting sons, meddling bruises in deep black tones.
Flags don’t keep anyone warm, but burning them does.
Hold communion with kerosene, hands high, tongues out;
feeding vinegar to screaming children hanging
in a bloodborne tree, begging souls below to stop flames.
But we can’t tell the difference between bloomed fruit
and two hundred years of broken necks.
We know how they look. We know how they sound.
church bells toll in unison, telling the living
Anyone speaks for the dead.