Fester and fester more,
you gangrenous wisdom of old men –
They, the decrepit debauchers, jealous of fresh flesh,
buy the young with celestial promissory notes –
IOU – 20 virgins and a cloud and a flag and eternal patriotism.
I, fingers tight on knife pommel,
soldier’s, trucker’s, diplomat’s, sacrificial goat’s
hair twined on my other fingers
smile through the mask at the camera.
Slice skin, carotid, jugular –
a crimson font as blade meets bone.
I shift my …
Grip the leash and yank;
naked brown arms break;
naked brown bodies fall.
I heave the leash to heel the body,
pull it to my knee,
wave the others over,
stack the bodies like Legos,
and smile for the …
Picture will be traded by boy,
a few seasons younger than I,
swapping me for a candy bar and two bus bombers –
dynamite statistics read from my back impress.
They whisper the words
“When I grow up …”
And still the old men ooze, democracy and jihad,
freedom and paradise, wealth and spiritual reward,
but within that conjoined corpus remains
an ancient, silenced wisdom –
War is hell, but it’s good for business.