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Spotted in no man’s land
searching the dead picturing a future junk yard
with him in the middle an everlasting element
something to sell and perhaps something edible
no sell-by date can frighten that old hunger
in this young skinny belly a monster terrified more.
I skipped the scope and held the binoculars
I had the best view in the house
to watch him live like a saint and die like a criminal
it was a trigger away from the truth
I held my nerves and bit my orders
to see who this angel could be
so bereft of the very low measures of humanity
no formal introductions, no manly fear
no one to hold on to; all the dear have gone
so blatantly pickpocketing robbed thieves
lying too dead to be said who stole life from whom
like all gathering in a big dark room
their knives so sharpened to hit and miss
for some it may have felt like a kiss
coming from a brother
now the mixed hatred in the blood mudded the soil
what a tree in there may grow
but the boy… has gone…
replaced by men with arms
all pointing at me ready to take
I don’t blame them for I have taken many
but not this time as I say every time so confidently
I fired with all my expertise so quickly
no rock or tree was made to make men hide from me
all lay so dead, as if they were not, as if I were not
we’re already fighting in the underworld
I finally turned toward that little swindler
for a moment a dwindler I could not see
in a war too big for him to understand
nor does he the word collateral casualty
he grew smaller and smaller with time
then his eyes met mine through the scope of death
unafraid like before, he bent down to pick a flower
onto which was stuck dead a butterfly
that at that time interested him more
I froze and felt I was there on that flower
and I could not pull the trigger… I could not.

October 26, 2016

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