Sprinkle death with truth, O Mercy,
to dispel its plague upon the living.

Mark every doorway with wisdom
to guard against violent hatred
that courses through the streets.
Purge evil with fragrant hyssop.
Bind up broken spirits and bones
with cleansing joy. Make of lies
a sacrifice, O Mercy. Crush to oil
the ill-gotten fruits of oppression
to pay the vast debt of reparation.
Let the smoke of cedar purify hope
of cynicism, love of callousness,
strength of arrogance, until the day
when our hearts do not know spite
and our tongues do not hide sin
under the white blanket of deceit.

on Psalm 51

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