Thursday, November 24, 2011

War and Peace


Cops fracture one’s skull,
rupture another’s spleen.
Scott needs a third tour
of duty, but Iraq is over.
Send him to Afghanistan.
Kayvan fought both places,
so he should go to Iran,
though he was born here.

I should go back to Glasgow
or Ulster. Maybe Cardiff,
even the Blue Ridge . . .
I got drunk to take the bus
out of San Francisco over
the Bay Bridge, then walked
through Oakland’s dull yellow
shadows to the Berkeley line.

Men kill men in the line
of duty. You become a man
that way, I was told, young.
Don’t blame women’s soft
loving bodies, their lips
on yours, the world’s reason
for bringing you into earth’s
orbit where only we talk love,

so we believe. Someday
creatures from a galaxy
with no name yet will be
unable to go on. Poison,
ours, flooding their planet,
they elect to put us in thrall
to make peace where war was.
Ask God why He didn’t know

they exist. Maybe God doesn’t
either. That would be news.
Nietzsche walking the hills
looking everywhere gave up
searching. He knew God
was in the mind or nowhere,
saved a horse from the whip
the day he took God’s place.

(24 November 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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