Monday, April 17, 2017

crisis pt. i

father cannot unhear the explosion
of hell and earth changing places
he cannot unhold the weight
of his daughter’s body
coated in blood and rubble
he is as empty as the shell casings
that litter the street he lived on

when his walls have been reduced to dust
and his child to a corpse
we are told that God’s will is done
we are told that it is the terrorists
who hurt but it is not always their bones
that our bombs are breaking

I do not know how to tell him
that America still considers
herself humane when his flesh
is considered collateral damage
that the lives of his family
are worth less than that of a
misguided man with a rifle
situated on the roof above
that all of their breaths
must be extinguished to keep
our boys in boots breathing

we are told that this is
liberation by artillery
they forget to tell us the
price of freedom is the
skull of his infant daughter

I do not know how America
considers herself humane when
I do not know if she holds
within her closed white hands
a heart or a grenade

I only know
that her bones are forged
in the flames of the twin towers
that trauma has entered her
crude oi nitroglycerin bloodstream
she has closed her gates because
she is afraid of the hurt

the immigration officer
remembers his years
in the army and the shrapnel
still nestled in between
his vertebrae like the grains
of sand that will forever remain
in between his toes

he still remembers the ambush
where he inherited that shard of shrapnel
how it left his brother so holy 
and bloodless and closer to God

he cannot unhear the sobs of his widow
how it sounded like hell and
earth had changed places
he cannot unhold the weight of the casket
draped in that blood-red flag
that they had sworn to defend

when the shell-shocked immigration officer
stares into the eyes of the childless father
without a home he struggles to see a soul
he only sees the brown skin
of the bullets that had rained upon him

he looks over his shoulder at America
so pristine and virtuous

she shakes her head solemnly

I do not know what he is defending anymore

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