Time subsides and you fall back into the hammock
of another easy truth. There are so many ways to
disguise this. One reigning idea dictates what you will
think, so you go blundering from one war to another,
one rape or abuse to another. My dream for you is clothed
with shadows. Listen,- your final dawn will arrive rudely.
What became of me wasn’t worth the telling. But, I’ll say
this: the real dungeons are our own words, the real chains
the ones we use to encircle our hearts. There are letters
in my alphabet you’ll never know. I saw a whole
army collapse like a huge lung. I saw bodies fall like
chips from a woodsman’s axe. There was a king who
believed me, and one who didn’t. You know their fates.
Your own kings pencil in their beliefs for later erasure.
After each tragedy they hand out antique apologies.
Someone shoots in a theater and soon it plays like fiction.
Someone else pulverizes symbols they don’t understand.
When you break the world it doesn’t just get fixed.
There is a truth, if you listen, but it arrives with no
postmark and no return address, no provision for revision.
Even your windows mutter things you refuse to understand.
I can say: there is little patience with your skeletal words.
I can say: you should already know this by reading
what has already been written on the dungeon walls of
your own hearts and the watermarks of your own souls.
The harp plays on, but the question is, who’s listening?
by Richard Jackson
from Echotheo Review