Consider just one sacral tableau: three nails
or so to drain a god. And how, ever after,
the infidel corpses have piled up
thick as centuries. Even as we speak
holy slaughters accrue and conspire
till everything’s ancient history
late-breaking all over the place.
Nudged by the just thud of humanitarian
bombs it may seem that our national heart
like an angry red planet keeps hurling
itself against the gates of strange cities
yet for all our wise sayings preserved
in alcohol, it’s the old story’s bitter end
returned to fresh beginnings.
Victims flee riding any old thing, school buses,
farm carts. The very roads become refugees
as under the remote control of Holy Writ
fear, misery, and rage take turns
swallowing each other
as the righteous connive at scenarios
even sacred books couldn’t worsen.
Small wonder the gods have all sailed
off the edge of the world, but how lucky for us
these opposable thumbs evolved just in time
to help carry our grudges.
Meanwhile, none of the other planets fidget
or fuss, they merely roll round and around
like ball bearings. But here?
The global soldier is earth-colored,
both what he wears and lies in,
with man crawling toward man
across rival axioms. As each aims and fires
at a difference in cloth, each wins the day,
in dragging by rope naked elders to the quarry.
Wake me when eternity starts, will you?
I don’t want to miss it.
“Wake Me” First appeared in War, Literature & the Arts