Because Babylon is in the bodegas of Miami.
Because the merchants are sweeping doorways
littered with half-dead prayers,
slapping the theater of insects and panicked citrus.
Because we are far from the desert, wandering still.
Because the sea air clings in beaded
gasps to sailors and jetties.
Because the messengers cannot breathe in this air,
the thick moss in their lungs.
Because this season, a half-turn from autumn,
the concrete curves and angels sweat,
swinging from tangerine hammocks.,
Because we live in the docks
and scattered mangroves,
we sing in tattooed voices of half-truths
and televised sermons.
Because the ventriloquists cannot sleep.
Because I've had god riding my back since I was twelve,
sliding his tongue along my teeth,
while the rabbis rocked on clay avenues.
Their curls bounced on their ears,
the scent of morticians nearby.
Because the mechanical pillars of sea
cannot hold this peninsula steady,
to let us taste what is good, what is holy.