Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Casualties

I.
The last time little Danna saw
her father was when he promised
dinner together, hours before
the midday murder
—skull lead-cracked
due to possible possession
of crack, his three-wheeled
machinery for a living upturned
by the bend before the bakery—
left nothing for supper
but smoke from candles and flavor
from disenchanted flowers.

II.
Months before the lopsided shootout
angered soldiers marched to the cadence
of keyboards clacking, raising arms
against bullets planted in bags.

Now that a gun is forced upon the grip
of your cold, nondominant hand, Kian
nobody dares to shoot.
Except the shooters.

III.
But the gravest are the living—
demanding imagined barks
from mouths of watchdogs
they’ve beaten,
whose eyes they say are stone,
and behaved pissing
on the lampposts of truth,
when what they needed
were canes and civility.

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