Your piety, blind sword wielded in temple, church, mosque,
in vast expanse of desert, desolate sanctum sanctorum,
must end. I suppose, though fatuous in pursuit, I appreciate
the adoration, sanctimonious aspiration. Worse is your
slaughter over my flawed image, passé, tarnished icon.
Do you recall my face before this fixation, without
the beard, a doting young man, a tender good shepherd,
in amiable apse mosaic, before my stern, judgmental eye,
severed saved from damned on endless abbey tympanum?
I’m sure you find solace in elaborate ritual, rabid dogma,
obscure scripture, but I ask you, will you study the codex
of the heart, simple verses of compassion? Whose head
will you swap for my visage? Your zeal requires too much
suffering over who owns love.