(Dedicated to Dallas Police Department)
Now we are settled in the lostness
of our lives, searching for truth,
looking deeper into the eyes of promise.
We do not falter in step,
we cannot see the fear, the open hole
we make our jobs what they are,
We take the first steps to secure the breach
while our dead are crossing the threshold
we will never know who or what is beyond
until our own moment comes.
We will secure peace with our struggle.
Peace in the street, peace on the corner
and in the shops, peace in your home:
we are soldiers in this despairing exultation.
The mercy we show to the world
we are still in full engagement
for the higher ideals of our country.
and dreamers glance twice through the mist
We are who we are by choice:
we could not choose otherwise,
once we secure our pledges.
and the light spreads over us.
to thrust the highs to the lows:
I say mercy is on the brow
Now we are lost in the sacred space
of heart where flowers bloom,
and where the grass always sings.
Litany and Requiem for Our Elders
(spoken in their own voices)
Dances, followed soon by divorces.
Responsibility as a response to resolution,
never-ending vagrancy and guilt.
Wanting to feel isolation,
I lose my power to divide—
warmth, stillness, empty dream.
Gray are our suits and hair;
and the sounds of chimes on the porch.
remains with our vows of spirit.
I see the soul curve as it travels,
and detach my eyes from its darkness:
no, rile and rot are not an end to fear.
We die: yet the spaces between our lungs
and we see the instances we neglected young.
Some try to sing, but lose their voices
and gesturing wildly through the street.
I imagine we will be forgotten,
but I bring my cup to my mouth:
Fate, sealed by iron claw, dawns and devours.
We are limitless silence, now, and drifting out.
Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a Houston based literary publisher. He is also a visual artist and musician who takes pride in his work even if it is not recognized widely. He is a generous man, a loyal friend, and a gladiator of the human spirit.