baptism

we gathered at the lake
in the steaming chill of morning
before the witness of the rising sun
to watch our old men
baptize our young men
by pressing them underwater

and when they rose up again
they were supposed to be new

but time is a corrosive agent
and the young are eaten alive
lest they build impenetrable shells
letting no thought in
letter no love out

and

i wonder sometimes if it would be better
to let our young men
baptize our old men
by pressing them underwater

and leave them to drift away
as a testimony to their good lives

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