The Bells

by krstaten

this is the silence between the bells,
each one chiming rainbow flag,
each one chiming love, each one chiming anger,
each one chiming the blood of supposed sin.

and we,
we sit in the belfry singing obituaries
swearing to use our tongues for better things
than curses, swearing to use our hands
on stronger things than triggers,

there is no language between the bells.
we spread our lives across the streets
screaming love, love, love, pride, love

but there is love that flows like water
and there is love that flows like blood,
love that flows like vomit on the dance floor,
love that flows like the ink of signatures
petitioning for power. there is love

that burns like the hearts of the flame queens
way back when, love that resists power
screaming love, pride, love, in a hand hold with its sisters,
love that looks like bricks and bottles and
broken glass, love that cuts the right places
and refuses this holy silence, this mournful silence,
this empty, suffocating, desperate,
clawing silence.

is not what comes after a life ends.
That is the screaming. That is the fear,
the terror, the anger, the love like gasoline
ready to help us burn it all down
even as it stretches silk across like bandages
to give each of the wounded a home.

you tell us
to be this silk, smooth and strong and holding together
all of the bleeding broken bodies, all of the scared
minds, you tell us the only response is love,
i tell you i do not know whether love is soft
today, or whether it looks like fire and riots.

we will hold hands
wrap ribbons around our wrists like handcuffs
and we will march, heels stomping cracks in the pavement,
we will break every square inch of this foundation and let the fire
roar up from beneath, we will love like water and silk
and bricks and bottles and broken glass, we will love
loudly enough to break this silence
and all the bells you set to chime for us.