what shiver shudders through the soul
that rusts every shining goal
that takes away every breath of life
that removes the heartache with dulled knife
what wanders through the whispered night
that grabs our necks and holds us tight
that terrifies through our own minds’ web
that says we live when we’re sure we’re dead—
what matters in the apathetic grin
what forgiveness in mortal sin
what shaking in each leafless limb
the worlds black, light can’t get in.

We’d try for hell but for unknown
the tortures of Apollyon?
We wander purgatory, shamed
with no one but ourselves to blame
for what lives did you save when you were young?
what lessons learned? We died dumb.
And in mute death the air speaks our words
but our prayers unanswered as the world turns—
so we lounge in shadows deep
checking beneath our bed, watching our feet
keeping someone near as we sleep…
so through our rest, our souls they’ll keep.

Yet for the nightmares of each morn
we rise again, as though reborn
but trembling into the blackness go
the bravest of the last of souls.
Our soldiers suffer, our mothers cry
our sons and daughters leave us lie
our memories fade like photographs
our eyes glance speak our epitaphs
we’re a hopeless lot who did naught
to tame the world, wild
we could do no more than cry and wait
as though living a life of exile.
We heard the words but didn’t care
pretending like they were not there
we saw the knives in the dark
but stood sobbing, naked, stark
we never fought the plunge of trials
we told lies in laughs and empty smiles
we became the vast black of space
no wonder we try to hide our face
for what shiver shudders a shining soul?
Naught but fears dark loophole.

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