Obituary to the Manmade

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Words: Jennifer Nicol (she/her)

stone cracks, foundations splinter,
witness, together, what was worshipped here,
hated here.
how can you love a thing
when the place in which you loved it crumbles?
stained glass welding snaps like bones, colour spills–
let it seep into the ground like blood,
let it drain into thy soil.

devote your soul to the rocks, wooden pews
hold the weight of men; wooden crosses hold their
light. to believe in God; to believe also in
mortar, both will crumble to their knees.
let them take root inside you, brick and
divine both, let them take their turn
in your praise.
let them wash your feet.

deny the new heaven and the new earth,
may the soil take you.
all things made anew in the sediment,
ancestors welcome shards and fragments.
life breathed into cement thus returns to ashes,
to dust. if the self is known best at its end
may the ending be long and painful
ripping the flesh from bone.

be away from the body, build a home
away from your lord, bricklayer of your own soul.
let eternal life perish, soaked up by rhizomes and arteries,
feel your heart pulse with the rays of the sun.
as it dies, when it dies, listen to the world sing,
hear trumpets beam from that which surrounds you.
the earth is in the midst of you, and shall not be removed –
the kingdom is thine, the power and the glory.


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