Lips Weary with Chapped Hallelujahs

Miracle Nixon

Watch the hallelujah fall,
Salt-filled tears dripping, slipping

Down your bleeding, quivering chin
Slapping the empty church pews,

Stained with the sins of the congregation.
Brown knees bruised from forcing your way

Through the church doors and onto the carpeted floor,
Away from the kicks and punches of your world.

The words went from raspy whispers,
Scratching the walls of your throat, itching for a release

To hurtful shouts, finally breaking free of the barriers.
But no one heard.

You looked up to see Mary stare back at your desperate eyes in
Sorrow, pure white saint in all her marbled glory.

The whiteness of her skin was different from the scarred brownness
That covered your own, but it didn’t matter to you.

She was supposedly the Mother to us all, interceding for us daily.
So you hoped your Hallelujahs reached her, too.

You kept on, praying that your Hallelujahs
Shot up with some sort of power,

Able to punch a hole into the heavens and bring
Down a miracle.

But one didn’t crack open the church ceiling and
A miracle didn’t fall through.

So as your lips became weary and your heart became weak,
Your hallelujahs went back to raspy whispers, chapped in defeat.