we coalesce / andrew mandelbaum


we coalesce
the dark between the stars
the breast of your motherland drank from our mouths
oath-drained we wash the borders
from the maps carved upon our desires
we coalesce
the dark between the stars

stretched out upon the half ruined
counting the feathers on an ivory billed hope
we are a mix breed litter of
constellations blacked-out
foundations over-turned
the dark between the stars

loyalty to species
to caste, to class
the most useful lies
teaching the sallow and the tremble
letting life channel death
huddled beneath an overhang
dripping safety
cold and wet down our spines

the crematoriums rose
on the stone of our promises
we honored the breadlines
we touched the knee

thick sinews of life
drawn-out thin
blood parched
but unbroken
can tightrope us back

between war and capitulation
between the state and the deep blue sea

we can learn the balance
single file
to cross over
into the dark sky
empty of wardens and searchlights
hand fasted to each other
in sight of no one
drinking the black gravity of collapse

without certainty or blueprint
laughing into a terrible sadness
called civilization
we coalesce
the dark between the stars

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