POETRY: we lifted our eyes to the hills, by John Fry

how we’d lifted burnt
offerings, our hearts, as shorn

things bleat, cling, for help
had not come, for our

bramble-bloodied feet
slipped—He slept—

shadowed by absence of
outstretched, His hand could

stave neither solar nor
oxidized green flares

of moonglare watching over us,
insomnia, we knew not

why the slow subtraction (devil’s
arithmetic) of our right wrist

bones clamored, cold, pursued
not by what, but whom were

heavy-laden we looking, for
Lord—where smoke risen from

a ram’s scapula was its lampblack
psalm, to the hills we lifted

our eyes, threadbare antiphons,
deserts away from where we were

promised benediction, our goodbyes
blackened, our altars, help had not come

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