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The murmur becomes a roar,
The drop becomes a tide.
Crosses are stitched over hearts, splayed, dagger-sharp.
Iron-hooded, oath-sworn, they march.
God wills it.
The call to prayer is now to arms,
And the return to what never was.
They must tear out eyes for eyes,
And spill blood for Christ’s.
God wills it.
There are riches to come: new life,
Glimmering gold from the Dome of the Rock,
Shining sepulchres, snow-white tombs,
All beyond dreams, to answer prayers.
God wills it.
Arriving, they greet a tyrant sun,
A new earth, sea, sky,
Disjoint, doubt, dust and sand,
Yet all are meant to be.
God wills it.
The white-green slopes of the Krak
Swell with bile-black hordes,
And shocks of blood bloom in their wake,
The fruits of hard steel and flesh.
God wills it.
Fear will follow the brave,
And even the richest dye will fade.
The days are dull, night blind,
Locusts swarm and furnace-heat burns.
God wills it.
Enemies, never more mortal,
Lie prostrate together, or watch the heavens with unblinking eyes,
Lions, lambs, burned or buried,
All, at last, at peace.
God wills it.
The Temple is bathed and cleansed
With blood of innocents, ankle-deep.
Jerusalem’s streets are hushed in horror,
Still, under a crimson dawn.
God wills it.