Abbey Gate – Brandon Marlon
By Abbey Gate did they wait, hives of humanity
confined in a makeshift holding pattern,
their hopes in hand, desperate for rescue,
a shimmering mirage that appeared at a distance
but that never arrived, in the event outpaced
by a resonant blast shuddering the earth
and imbruing pavement with crimson puddles,
hatred’s sudden signature.
Elsewhere, some innocents hurdled borders;
less fortunate others now fall anew under the sway
of cankered overlords bent on severities,
proving generational progress defeasible
even as rival perils, covert legions lusting for primacy,
muster in the shadows to spill blood and strew limbs,
intent on rendering bodies and longings beyond recognition.
Thus humankind witnesses and laments once again
a nation moldering in real time and in high definition:
scathed veterans vilify the affair, a species of botchery;
learned observers from safe perches struggle to unriddle
a region weary of unremitting woes; and inured natives
breathe deeply but swallow hesitantly for fear of sampling
the acrid aftertaste of regret.