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By

By DARIUS JOHNSON

those who don’t know the loss of kin
will feel grief, unending , when the rapture comes.
how do you choose who to cry for?    how do you choose who you will
allow to leave salt stains    on your sallow skin     or whose crucifixion
you will watch?    by the age of 18 my brethren will have hands     that
know blister more than calm    that know the weight of a cross    and
how high to carry their bleeding father up to Calvary —    how far away
to place him from the other thieves    how to scream to the
executioner    that their mother is a virgin    or their father, a
messiah    they will know how to pray that the resurrection is real.
and where will you be?
and where have you been?
as the year reaches its horizon,
do not forget whose fault it is that the sky bleeds red, every night
that so many children pray that resurrection is real—
that a man as pale as death can consider himself a God
and take over an entire nation
populated by his followers and their daughters.
i have this dream sometimes.
of what it will be like when the rapture comes.
i will walk, Into the Woods
and i will see nothing but white devils
clinging to their loved ones and their goods,
feeling for once the residency of pain
it will be like a musical
but the harps will screech
and the lights will dance too fast to see anything—
like when there’s a bullet in your chest.
or a hand in your hair.
or a hand in your pants.
In this dream, I laugh at how hard they cry
how much a taste of my life’s stock can drive them into frenzy
when the sky reflects upon them their nature,
and their violence,
it will remind us all
who they choose to cry for.
It will remind us all
that the only change a new year has ever brought for them
is how many crosses they can carve.