Babylon, an extract

i love people
without exception

they are so fragile and beautiful
like a snowdrop in a late winter storm
almost hidden in the cold white cruelty of its dying
yet still dancing its slight white innocence
in the biting wind that sweeps its coverlet of death upon it

i haven’t met one yet
that didn’t have a thousand stars hiding in their eyes
that didn’t have a rainbow tucked into the corners of their mouth
ready to break out in the light of one of those stars
when the rain has passed
cleansing their too often clouded eyes

that’s what gets me the most
not so much the magnificence of those stars
that shine from so deep inside
that i can feel the heat in my own cells
but the tremulous, fragile shimmers of light
breaking into momentary colour from a tear unfrozen
by an unexpected moment of honesty and pain
that in its innocence has become a gift of freedom
a rising breath
a wing outstretched that stirs the air
and cools the lashes of the watchful eye

i want to die then
in those eyes, on that smile
let my flesh melt, my bones crack
and my blood run through new gorges
into a brand new furnace
where the fire that burns is my own fire again
my blood, my life embodied
again and again in a million forms
a billion passing flowers of flesh.

because i know
i know the power
in the honesty of that tear
the balm of peace
that it sets free

a peace that hides in each of us
as desperate to come out
as i am to see it
loosed upon this mortuary of lies
to see it turn upon the beast
and hold it steady in its gaze
till it shrivels, cowers and vanishes

as it does my friends, as it does

it cannot go anywhere
it cannot do anything
without our approval

we give it the feet
that stomp across the gardens of paradise
that we have laid waste

we give it the hands
with which it tears at the soil
uprooting the delicate balance of nature

we give it the engines of hell
with which it blackens the skies and thickens the oceans
with its foul and pestilent breath

it has no hands of its own
no feet, no eyes, no tongue
but ours