On Reading War
It could almost be read.
“We are spent, criticized past martyrdom,
walking mirages, forming what the wind calls winter;
tall spindly angers, coughing, arthritic animations,
struck dumb by bullets – past us, through us, ruby bridges
A jitter can paint a chest, fixed transvestite splash back –
A man loves a man dead, trapped in print, hanging
on a Motherland mantelpiece every Christmas,
where no rum could account for,
no khaki can account for, nor your place instead.
They understood, clicking their fat tongues,
heads to one side, up to their knees in old country.
They understood, they said! Their tongues loosely tied
around the breaking of the bread – at their feet,
scattered crumbles of white; a feast where Raven’s wed.
Where the paper listed is where the paper bled,
past us, through us, where the conscience read
and what words can make
more than what the fallen make,
that makes a wish to be unsaid?