Hymn of Longing

My heartbeat sounds different
In the cool silence of my room
Than it does in the romping room,
The tabernacle of struggle
(For the realness missing sometimes)
Where the old women bang
Their tamborines and dance
Like they were making wine
(Or perhaps drinking it),
And the old men pluck grapes
For them and prophecy
Fires into our bellies (while
We wait on the wine).

The young are left behind
(Because they are silent
And self-conscious),
And often, when the mountains
Begin to tremble,
I feel like I am searching
For a bunker, or crawling
Under barbed-wire baricades,
My gas mask snug against my cheeks,
As banners fill the front of the room,
And the movements, the vibrations
Of the dancers grow so immense
I am afraid the floor will collaspe
And we will fall into some
Special precinct of hell for those
Who sang the songs for the songs themselves.

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