Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lent in Antioch (April, 387 CE)

The agora and the shuk rattle with quiet,
their usual rivers of crowds dried up.
Antioch’s clear fountains lie untroubled,
no jar dips ripples in the pure water—
everyone is home.
Or gone.
In the caves.

The hippodrome and baths
are shut.
The echo of the claques’
applause rings accusation in
the theatres of our waiting ears.

Waiting for a word
from Istanbul
(Constantinople).
Waiting on the mercy or the flame.

We—city of sinners—
waits for mercy.
Perhaps our God will pity us?
Perhaps our lord will pardon us?

Until then, we wait
in ashes
and the sackcloth of silence.

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