That’s What They Get

before Wikileaks was banned by our government

I went on their website in the Paul Robeson library

and played a video called “Collateral Murder”

dirty water streamed down the window panes featuring

the supposedly revitalized city we stared

into computer screens on my display pixels

stood static as I witnessed footage

of the slaughter

of innocents

my countrymen howled ooh rah

with joy as explosive rounds

pierced the thin doors of a Toyota

mini van (the same kind those airmen’s wives

drove their precious kids to school with)

carrying small Iraqi children

in grainy sepia I saw their fathers’ bodies

disappear beneath smoke

as students around me lounged in cushioned chairs

they typed loudly and I cried silently

and the American soldiers on the ground

thought themselves American heroes

evacuating limp little bodies riddled with holes

punctured by projectiles from omnipresent helicopters

inside the floating death machine an American said

“that’s what they get for bringing children to a warzone”

turns out the victims’ obliterated fathers held cameras not rpg’s

that the terrorists were really journalists

that’s what they get for being born in a warzone

above pools of black liquid

into pools of red

that’s what they get

Existence Seems so Fast

Above small birds chirp and big ones squawk

though they can’t make the “s” sound.

Little blue ones and massive gray ones.

So instead it’s a din of guttural but how does

their gut, their collective stomach,

of shrunken former monstrosities sing in varied unison?

A cardinal is perched on a wire

where there may or may not be current running

calling to no one in particular and everyone:

“I’m here! Hello?” Tomorrow will be new

and the bird will decide not to seek for mates

nor seeds, he will leave behind his trappings

of normalcy and become a prophet.

Not sitting on an artificial line but diving

upwards while screeching into the air

so that he can rain back down in particles

of nonsense, but perhaps he’ll reach

far enough off this earth and sleep early

and never wake up again and become nothing

which is closest to joy he doesn’t think because he can’t.

Bella Vista

Is he sleeping now in his chair by the alley?

Is he passed out cold

with a warm beer can in his hand?

He’s in the open air where strangers walk idly chatting

drunk like him at 2 am,

but not yet at the bottom of everything.

His fingers calloused.

His lips bleed.

His hair has turned to dread.

And his eyes,

oh what his eyes have seen.

failure and acceptance

every whitewash splash dousing light intense center cube

how they keep you in order to observe

eavesdropping on lonely creatures with company

make a serious commitment to be in love with death

conjure it

the tarnish of a forgotten stone

getting there is lost

let go of your star seed you can’t see the same shadows

and outlines of color of the other

every act of will

every repentance

every movement

is in memory of what never was