“Then Moses cried out to the Lord,
                 ‘What am I to do with these people?
                  They are almost ready
                  to stone me?’”
                                                      –      Exodus 17:4, NIV 

What is the difference between striking and speaking
when a rock is meant to give water, that one would
be obedience, the other judgement? 

All around, I see the masses turning out, removing
their masks, revealing their spirits and hearts, and

I am shut away—shutting away—the words I would speak,
silence riding my tongue, silence enveloping this place,
silence as solace as circumstance as judgment. But Who

is judging? 

She (the collective she) is going out—out amid the noise,
out to celebration, out to the clamor of cymbals and drums
of war.  She (the collective she) is beginning, or continuing
to pour herself like new wine into old skins

                         –fit to burst–

I am hiding in, abiding in, biding time, binding lips, beating plowshares
of swords in my chest, wondering when.  When does the star shoot—
again—across the darkness of this sky—the long-awaited messenger,
herald of the new Now, the now when it is time to remove

fetters from phrases and philosophy and the folds
of the part of the arc of the chapter of the story where

I leave

this mountain
I’ve built  

of thirst?