Cherubim sing atonal hymns in Baroque halls
where even a Demon can be corrupted;
seduced by music
to sway with the crowd,
wrapped in the lovely arms
of sweet harmony.
Incense burns in the sacristy
where even an Angel can be turned;
seduced by dance,
seduced by drumbeat,
gripped in the red hand
of savage dissonance.
The enlightened
close ranks and minds,
steal souls, hold hostages,
chant psalms to deaden the screams.
-Opportunists in league with the One
who throws dice with the left hand
while the right gathers lambs
-and the wolves
fresh from the sight of God
hunger for the flesh, the blood,
and any innocent will do.
Outside the Cathedral
fathers twist arms,
“Alms for the King.
Alms for the One who need not to ask.”
Mothers carry pictures of Saints
and pray for Holy Orders.
The Sisters and Brothers fall into soft white arms
as the tender mercy closes in.
Markers will serve as reminders
of the cost of secrets
to those who refuse to ask.
They steal away, these Sisters and Brothers,
bloodstained, to trade with whores, addicts
-all those compelled to ask.
At the mercy of Angels and Demons,
these Saints of the alleys become Martyrs.
Finding their way to the cross,
without the ransom of thirty pieces,
they join in the murderous ritual.
Can we tell what these dead will inherit?
Is there guilt, damnation,
or the tender mercy and its sweet release?