A Sacrifice in the Calm of Dawn

                    Let us wake something
that sleeps between expurgated pages,
          tear from shelved slumber’s
sweat-streaked sheets, infinite wisdom’s hidden
          unnumbered heat, drop
folios this old tome’s fever-stricken
          with (various texts),
incendiary secrets so hot that
          their feast will face us,
a sage plate engraved by fate’s fingers, whose
          hand-coloured tears we
ought to touch, not only because we should
          not, but because we
want, his unbound cheeks exposing the pale
          shore of the puddle
where mistrust recedes, paper and knees bent
          to receive a look
at our future host, a saviour clothed in
          those fragrant phrases
burning in the ashen embrace of an
          incinerated
book, an apocryphal work the peerless
          and pointless ancient
memory of which never fades, these blades
          of truth we cannot
grasp, flames of swords fanned out when we (mis)take
          for granted our own
li(n)es, insignificant glimpses of sp(l)it
          immortality
we rehearse in silent portions, only
          half of life’s story
more-articulate persons perform so
          perfectly, our lack
of foresight a sacrifice in the calm
          of dawn, asleep no
longer as we rise, souls ill-prepared but
          somehow wise, our wills
triumphant, ready to take on what skill
          he spared us, (t)his spear’s
fearless gift of great destiny bonfires
          of prophetic words
bury, greeting faith’s mo(u)rning with our shared
          history’s smoke, folk-
tales remorseless in their twice-told mercy,
          granite-toothed grammar
typing not with fists but tonguing with gold
          hammers what nails it,
that unwitting and wittiest taste of
          magnanimity
this degenerate dandy layers his
          stories with, tall tales
remedying with passion what ails us,
          crass aphorisms
of black licorice, impure tales offered
          as alternatives
to torture by a sorcerer clearing
          autos-da-fé of
their tarnished names, clouds of uncertainty
          washed with wind and hail
(never prayers), laying a trail of candy
          where others have failed,
performing miracles not with unseen
          hands, but with flair by
burning bridges and poisoning rivers
          over which they spanned,
freeing heretics by reading himself,
          offering to b(l)ind
horizons with his sunset’s finest flesh
          (its ivory touched
with fire, that rust lyricists pluck from lyres).