There is No Armor We Can Wear

There is no armor we can wear,
No wall or fortress we can build,
No force of arms, no shield of fear
To equal what the heart has willed.

No wall or fortress we can build
Can stop a soul on vengeance bent,
Can equal what the heart has willed,
A purpose pure, of dark intent.

Can stop a soul on vengeance bent,
Death for death and pain for pain,
A purpose pure, of dark intent
To kill for grace and not for gain.

Death for death and pain for pain:
The lust to purge oneself of grief,
To kill for grace and not for gain
That anguish might find some relief.

The lust to purge oneself of grief
Must yield in turn an answering lust.
That anguish might find some relief,
We’d turn an Eden into dust.

Must yield in turn an answering lust,
Hate to hate set groove on groove.
We’d turn an Eden into dust
To turn away the face we love.

Hate to hate set groove on groove,
No force of arms, no shield of fear.
To turn away the face we love
There is no armor we can wear.

Reprinted by permission a poem by Nicholas Gordon

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