“Thousands are gathered outside the interior ministry…” a Rumpus Original Poem by Dora Malech


“Thousands are gathered outside the interior ministry…”

Bloody lullabies soothe the centuries.
Can’t see the cradles for the tops of trees
but you know the rest: you can’t rest, poor babies.

Keeper must feed the open mouth of less than,
promise sweet imminence lest its equation
flash its vast imbalance. All you can count on

is its truth is false. Tired of penance-
as-usual, its subjects take their chances,
lob bottles onto logic’s premises,

throw garbage at the ever-guarded gates.
The grid goes down: the city burns now less
symmetrically. Volleys of rubber bullets,

real bullets, as cell phone videos
catch, like bloody butterflies, howls (souls?)
rising from the fallen. Chants of life goes

on until it doesn’t, or so the slogans
sound mid-madness, around the salvoes’ din.
This is test without constant, the red duration,

mothers hurling rock-a-byes: my son died
a hero
. In an unspecified inside,
sanctum sanctorum, a kettle cries

for order or gives voice to its dissent,
rails against the status quo or against
chaos, depending on who’s left.

Dora Malech

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Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →