The Holy Barons rumble through
the untended slum-gardens against the highway
and drop payloads.
If the halo-copters hear you scream from downstairs,
you get one from on high, and it makes
a whistle on the way down and
falls against your prayers—
it goes through one girl’s bedroom ceiling
and suddenly her college first-pick
knows how to spell her name,
writes it on a very eager letter to her mother;
it falls over the edge of the general hospital
and my neighbour can breathe without burning
through the bullet wound;
bam over the house on the hill
and she can afford to fix her eye
in Iceland without having to beg;
and bam in the river on the other side
and no more coughs or cholera
in the news the next morning;
and bam wins a granny the lottery one week
so she can keep her lonely son clean;
and bam loses an uncle the lottery the next
so he can keep his lonely heart clean;
and against the stained glass
for more baptisms than burials;
and against the muzzles
of things lost in the street
for less bad news than
boys made new.
I don’t know who calls in the coordinates,
where the map’s pushpin pricks turn into precipitation
but god, look at the damage littering this place.
It’s spare, and rare, but cratering,
changing people’s whole lives
with one whisper of gravity.
I just wish one day one of those
prayer-bombs could fall on me.
© 2018 by Brandon O’Brien