O Oriens

In this mad, stifling city
of lights
quickly quenched
suddenly stifled,

we are at the mercy of so many
flakes of debris
falling through Times Square,
urban snowstorms, vicious, armed like
young men with guns and knives,
hazed by acts of random violence,
the frozen passengers watching,
shrinking,
on the trains speeding by.

we are at the mercy of
the fear that ends all living.
held in the maws of
merciless, pitiless,
cold hard bones.
The stench that stifles joy
in the thick claw of dread.

Life’s brief candle snuffed,
what’s on the other side?

Dark encroaching, light shrinking, souls swallowing?
Or horizon glowing, sun piercing, bright dawn, breaking?

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