by Mary Lambert
(An elegy for the Office of the Presidency)
As the fan unfolds its gaudy face,
a flaming moralism picks at sores
which fester as the crusts fall
from our leaders' eyes.
Pickers and drummers shadow
our Capitol, seeking to destroy
an infidel highlighted by the blind
machine of righteousness.
A burning truth lies smoking in dark
alleys, flanked by specious facades
which do not know themselves.
Magdalen was not double-bound and
then broken by her flaws. Neither was
she used to highlight her Lord.
Footprints of blood drape shame
across history. Weighted by the
fanatical rabidity of spirit bloated and
distended with its own poison, we
gnaw at our own carcass.
McCarthy used Reds for his shadowy
wraith to vent and turn the spit of
destruction, duping the populace
within the veil of its own confusion.
The fiery glow of the conquest is far worse
than that of its foe when the essence
of its spirit goes unchecked.
Half judgments create hunts and kills
made worse not by light or darkness,
but by the distance between. Thus,
our leaders' struggle.
Now, in the name of human weakness
and transgression, the Office is
burning, speciously scapegoated
by a wrong that is not the true vein.
The sacred task of our
forefathers has become muddled,
scummed with that of which it isn't.
Hidden behind a lesser wrong, it
cannot speak for itself.
We confuse the sacred office with the
weak human foible, and due process
is lost in partisan fanaticism, heckling
and tranced as it ever was in times
The Basilica Burns.
And we know it not.