A.M. Wilhelm | The Heavens Burn, shared by Owen Thomas
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The Heavens Burn, shared by Owen Thomas

A cloud of emptiness,
A cumulous of sorrow,
Circles the world.
Slowing, lingering
Steeping its vaporous stench,
Moving on.
Tuesday over Treblinka.
Sunday over Sudan.
Monday over Manhattan.
And now,
Dimming the lights
In the City of Love.
Then on. Ever on.
Lebanon. Jerusalem. Aleppo.
Nothing new.
Always new.
So many
So many
So many
Are never coming home.
Empty shoes.
Hollow sleeves.
Open windows
To the silent rooms of history.
We are in the midst of it.
Now. Right now.
The human miracle.
When the sun hisses out,
And the Earth turns to coal,
What was life? What was human?
Who will we have been?
We are better than this.
We are better than this.
We have to be better than this.
Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.
Rise. Rise up. Lift yourselves. Believe.
Push against the gravity of our species.
Remember your mothers.
Remember the ache
Of that first, desperate love,
As Paris weeps in darkness
And the heavens burn in mourning.
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