Metal at Bone

For Mary, Queen of Scots

Geddon, no more trembling.

We are near delivered

into our reward, our blood

staining forever Gloriana’s guilty hands. And her soul.

God save the Queen.


Sweet Jesus!

Where are the angels, Geddon?

The blade draws up; we’re undone

under its lumbering weight, not

from the fineness of its edge.

It scrapes against our shattered skull,

and teeth ache from the cruel drag.

We are raining upon ourselves—the blood of kings,

spilling over our shoulders,

ears ringing with metal at bone

prayers sputter, then drown.


Why is death so difficult now?

Have we not earned Heaven?

Life pools on the ground, yet this throb defies the blow.

Our heart beats fiercely in spite of the blade, and no wonder.

It is the heart of Scotland; it is the heart of France,

and so completely has it loved.

We may fall into a thousand pieces, Geddon,

but there is no need to tremble now,

for we are amazed at the awful things we survive.


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