Salvation

for Heidi Kraft

in the second before the bomb
fell from God,
he felt himself slip from
the Lord’s embrace
as only a favourite son can
slip from his father’s arms.

it happened in slow motion.
he could see only the child
and hear only the sound of his rifle
giggling.

he waited a long time to die,
but death was something
he could only look at,
his Sergeant stopping him from
getting too close,
a mother tugging at her son’s bloodied shirt.

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If There Is Something A Bit Startling

for Martin Peretz
after Edward Said

a crazed Arab, to be sure,
but crazed in the distinctive ways
of his culture he is intoxicated
by language, fantasy and
Reality abhors compromise –
always blames others for his predicament.

Feb. 4, 2002

The strike was in Paktia province.
“A decision was made to fire
The Hellfire missile.
It was fired” at the tall man in long robes.

How many times do you have to clear your throat
To lie like you do?

“We’re convinced that it was an appropriate target.
We do not know yet exactly who it was.”

We do not know yet who it was,
We are convinced it was an appropriate target.

An appropriate target for our unmanned drone,
With enough explosives to penetrate a village and never pull out.

He expected the identities of the three people to prove “interesting”
To prove a war was required to stop grown men from collecting
Scrap metal in broad daylight
In the country to which they belonged.

sweat-soaked bed,
burdened by my weight which grows heavier
with every moment I spend straddling the line dividing the light
and the dark which tears through the souls of people
who have known both.

the last time this window was open my brother fell out
and now he spends his days drawing with a package of
crayons which melt when faced with the son of reality,
a classical painting in a museum of modern art.

P.W. Singer: Wired for War

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