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By Daniel Garrett


I wonder if in the end

there will be something of us

left in them:

that the great circling metal wings

might find themselves wanting

to circle with another span

of metal wings

so attracted to the glint

and gorgon eyes

that in the blue-arched rhapsody

of their fling

they might at last begin to sing

songs of desperate desire

and of earth


I do know that the

poor fucks we scorched

were scorched by us

with missiles

we sent from our

hellfire holes

that the air sucked out of daughters’ lungs

by high explosive hits

was sucked out by us

that the dismembered children

what is left of them that can be


were ‘bug-splattered’

by us

and those later

born deformed

from all the depleted

uranium that we gave them

on well-funded platters

(not enough though to pierce

even one of our hearts)

have our imperial semen to blame


no: there is no one

sitting in darkness out there

past Las Vegas before his or her

bank of consoles

who distills from us

extracts from us

removes from us

the guilt of what we do:

that is our finger on the joystick

this is not self-defense

this is terror squared and cubed

terror so high and mighty

we confuse it with

sodomize it with

some old testament sod


there is no one we meet

in hate

who does not have a hate

Fed-Ex'd to them by us

I hear the drumbeats of shame

the great moving pilgrimages of the


but it is the wails of the women

for their men and children

and themselves

that will dislodge us from our perch

God does not want us there

maybe the birds will tangle

with each other

in the hot embrace

of their mirrored birth-breaths

we though will crumple in the mall

puddle and steam up

in our idling cars

run out of blood and guts

in the supermarket of our lusts

never knowing that what hit us

was us


and maybe then

the birds will mate

of earth and earth’s sky

it will be an end and a beginning

and America just another has-been


just another mother and her

forgotten curse


DISCLAIMER:  Daniel Garrett was a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.  The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Government.

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