There Are No New Psalms — M.E. Lerman

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There are no new psalms
And the harp speaks no new languages.

King David once danced here with all his might
But the choreography is lost to time.

We are an audience after the applause, in twilit hush
A flash of violet, a breeze of velvet

Like a well-ventilated coffin
With sympathetic worms bending an ear.

We are cut off among our people.

We follow the barefoot-beaten paths,
The record grooves faintly tilting whispery lilting

Into the opaque, white noise of ebony:
The dullness of darkness.

Because ours is the double-think that smooths jazz
And buries the living in a shroud of vinyl.

Because we have beaten swords into plough shares
And plough shares into cellphones.

Because we no longer believe the sun may stop in the sky for us
Or for anyone.

Because we remade God in our own image
And found Him gloriously, ignorably mundane.

Because our theaters are our temples with plush armrests
And revivals of jukebox humanism.

Because there’s opium in the air vents
And twilit hush ensconcing silence.

Because the curtain is closed
And we are undecided if we want it to open again.

Because there are no new psalms
And the harp speaks no new languages.

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