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The curtain trembles,
A dog howls in a dark city,
And the pearly jaws salivate in anticipation.

O Jerusalem, why do you murder your prophets?
Your fools, your criminals, your carpenters?
Ants swarm to the stained dust,
And throw dice to divide the spoils,
They know nothing is eternal,
It is the first day, and hope is dead.

O Jerusalem, wash your hands,
Perfume yourself in myrrh and cinnamon,
Like a leper you remain unclean,
The curtain trembles,
But you are already divided.

This is the time,
The hour is at hand,
Tremble in the gutters of your great city,
Shake in the courtyards of your temple,
The land seethes,
And the potter’s work has shattered,
It cannot be recast.

A rich man will come to you and ask for silver,
A poor man will come to give you his coat,
The bells will toll and the dead will rise;
This is the way of things.

He who has ears, let him hear:
It is finished.

—Paul Esau is a BA student in English and creative writing at the University of the Fraser Valley. He attends The Life Centre, Abbotsford, B.C.

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