Bleecker Street Hymnal

November 17, 2008
By Baobao Zhang, Alexandria, VA

For C.M.C.

You, unholy choir of profaned love,
you, who chant canticles florid with lead—-
who leak falsehood from prayer books once read,
answer: what’s a sparrow’s worth among painted doves?

Praise in earnest, pilgrims of Bleecker Street,
thaw the shrouds of unkind November.
Let in your showers, O chaste December—-
exalt the sacrament of blood on hallowed sheets!

Pilgrims, sing of your unravished meadows:
Desire. Desire. Of second deaths
and second births for its ephemeral worth—-
fleeting as the ghost lights that once danced on shadows.


So, spill your soul to the frigid air
and see it split breaths with immaculate tears.


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