By Clif Mason

In the cemetery of night,
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++the weeping spreads
++and brambles.
What does an assault weapon bullet
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++do to a child’s body?
++++++++++++++++What must we give up to count
++++++++++the entry wounds?
++++Earth holds their bodies.
She will treat them
++++++++++++++++with the kindness
++++++++++++++++++++++++she offers all of the dead,
++++the kindness that asks them
++++++++++++++++to drink from the stars’ chalice
++++++++++the black anodyne of sleep.

In the cemetery of stars,
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++the bodies spread
++++their black brambles and briars.
++++++++++++++++What do entry wounds do
++++++++++to the earth?
++++++++++++++++++++++++What must we give up
++++++++++++++++for the dead to count?
Weeping holds the bodies
++++++++++++++++and offers to treat them
++++++++++++++++++++++++with the black anodyne
++++of kindness.
++++++++++A child asks to drink
++++++++++from night’s empty chalice.

What does the weeping do
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++to bodies?
++++++++++++++++What must we give up
++++for the entry wounds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++to count
++++++++++the brambles and briars?
The black anodyne of weeping
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++holds the earth
++++and the cemetery offers to treat
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++the stars
++++++++++++++++with the kindness
++++++++++only a child’s body can know.
Sleeping assault weapon bullets
++++++++++spill from a black chalice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++and night
++++asks all of the living to drink.


About the Author

Clif Mason’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including Evergreen Review, Southern Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The New Guard, and Orbis. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and he has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award to Rwanda, Africa.


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