I have tired of all the screens,
I have tired of looking at the dump
where I grew up, billowing smoke
like my mother on a bad afternoon.
I have tired of looking at the waters
where I learned to ride waves
being parted by a grey barge
spewing quick bitter ends.
Someone on the screen insists on telling me,
“You asked for it, now you pay the price.”
I must have forgotten
when and where and how we did.
I am sure it is the fault
of whoever is dying right now
because the New York Times says it is.
When did the right to kill become a matter of polls?
How I wish I too could kill so many
and call it self-defense
and have the wilting world
believe me and cheer me on.
I try hard not to will what’s happening
on the rest of the world because
in my desperation it seems like only way to empathy.
I tell you, if my family wasn’t there
I wouldn’t give a damn
like a hundred places before,
I would shake my head
with a somber look on my face
and tsk-tsk-tsk disapprovingly
like a hundred times before.
See, I am petty like you,
I care about what’s mine like you,
and like you I am human at the core.
I have waited and waited and waited
for a better poem to present itself,
for others to say it more delicately than I;
to keep me sane,
I have translated all the songs of war.
I have waited for words
more lyrical, more eloquent,
more subtle than this.
But there is no lyricism in death,
there is no eloquence in death,
there is no subtlety in war.