Corroded shells in pale robes drag gilded chains behind their feet.
They and their disciples of cracked skin and downturned lips
Are on a holy mission:
Spread the darkness.
Rip loved ones away from their own.
Create a wave of indifference to reign over the land.
Get our chains to encircle every woman’s slender neck.
Make them all holy, as we have become.
As they burn through the land, they call out to those near and those far:
Let go of delusions of love.
“Of course we must,” says the educated woman, proud and prim and proper.
Her eyes darken, turning beady and shadowed.
Her gaping maw grows razor sharp teeth,
Her skin a mess of veined stone and rust.
(Can no one else see it?)
“Come with me, children,” she says, “forget what it is to feel.”
The children, of course, follow; what else do they know?
A crucifix hangs around her neck.
The crowds of salivating men reeking of cigar smoke
And of women with sparkling chains strangling their necks
Cheer and scream and shriek and roar.
Salt runs down their cheeks
As they proudly watch their children be drained of life.
“Thank God,” says one of the decadent shells in his chamber
When he hears that children are being beaten and crushed and raped
By consecrated men who have never been told no.
“Finally,” he says, “we can condemn the ones who love one another.”
“No one is forcing this on you,” says the woman,
Carefully chosen for her beautiful face and kind demeanor,
Smiling blandly out from the screen
In a classroom much closer than you think.
She reaches towards the children
With talons much sharper than a reprimanding tongue
To tear out their hearts and twist around their minds.
“Just accept it.”
The children start to scream, but they don’t even notice it.
The girls and boys grow and change as years go on
Flinching when they start to think of love
As since infancy they’ve been told of its perversion.
Girls peek at other girls with sidelong glances
Yearning for a laugh or a soft touch or a kiss.
They know they will never get that and live.
So the boys unweave the flowers from their hair
And the girls sheath their swords, and lock away their dreams.
Even an institution of undulating hate encircling the globe
Cannot stop every pair of hands that reaches in darkness.
And once those hands touch,
Once the children learn how to fill up their souls
From far-away friends calling out through computers,
There is no power on Earth that can stop
Their laughter and life and light.
And God smiles every time, for someone has finally found the truth.