By Accident

by Tony Lee

in the barren dryness
looking at a broken radiator
I would have died
if not for a coke
sugar water for children, yes
but enough to save a life
by accident

here, in the desert
in the shadow of crosses
in the shadow of crescents
their saints lie
equally fallen and interred
but only half silent

still their echoes linger
roaring in our ears
we shout above the din
we try
but our voices fall to the sand
we try
and are muted
but no
you say
it was an accident

stones that bleed the shoe
blister us
for generations
sheep graze over naked clumps
dry udders forsake sustenance
now that you have gone

by accident?

shake off the leashes
you said
open the eyes
but still you reward my gaze with accusation

was my head raised?
did my eyes not seek the ground enough?
was there threat in my voice?
did someone groan from the safety of a foreign corner
did someone laugh…haha
making fun of the mirage you left?

by accident?

here
in the desert
between the east and the west
we live in the penumbra
seeking only
coolness
forgetfulness

but not forgiveness

i drink my coke
strength returns
against the darkening skies
i see the haloes of your cities
i think about forgiveness

perhaps
one day
by accident

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