Nothing becomes me, no
illusions of lightning, no grace
of rainfall as when the desert
surprises itself to flower.

There, false hope rises in pillars
of fire from every angry form
of God. Here, false water
shimmers above asphalt.

These are the colors of endings
not of dawn—blood and fire
and the fall of crescent moon
into the darkening wine sky.

Nightfall inks my tired eyes
from a deepening in the west,
black knowledge that apostles
my lost self and broken nation.

And, in my blindness, I hear
echoes of war and feel life
slipping from my memory,
blood feeding arid soil.

Like the lizard, I have left
one skin behind, and feel
the time has come to shed another
and redeem all that I am not.