They came to an immobile place
a lone piper, heads of state,
men with God in their mouths.
Cold sapped our necks and trees threw
twisted shadows against sandstone.
Leaves draped holy amber on the street.
We stood buttressed by prayer,
symbol, ancient lamentation.
"The soul shall not be shattered by weapons..."
from the Bhagavid Gita.
"In paradisum deducant te Angeli"
"May the angels lead you into Paradise."
Priestly words intoned
centuries beyond a time
when rough-burred tongues
shaped sound to name and hold
a half-heard, half-glimpsed world.
The city's struck numb.
Each mourner a living stele
chiselled by gief. It is too soon,
we are too mute to trace and read
each sorrowful inscription.