Monday, September 14, 2009
Seven Unsuccessful Attempts at Memorializing Those Killed in Action
SEVEN UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS AT MEMORIALIZING THOSE KILLED IN ACTION"
by Phil Vassallo
The skies collapse
on ruptured earth.
Floodlights guide the tractors
plowing corpses over
hillocks, into fissures,
down ravines. The soldiers
weep for nothing but their
aching bones, their stomachs.
Survivors say that bastard luck
invoked them to renounce the dead.
"Forget, my man, tonight we fight.
So shed one tear to honor them,
but memory cannot win this war."
And the soldiers in battlefields
cannot quite fathom
the privilege of war:
Vietnam, the Korean fiasco,
the noble World Wars,
the appalling entitlement chance,
in its cruelty, bestows
on their breathing as brothers
in trenches lie dying beside
them, as darkness grows darker
and bleeding flows brighter, as boys
in this moment can't grieve for
their lives but must slaughter
Now at daybreak behold
the proverbial lilies of the field
as they sprout from the fault line
to track the agronomy: Death
fertilizes. And then the vultures
descend in maniacal flight.
The Darkness passes:
Granddaughters trample the graves
to uproot lilies.
The living breed death,
the dying breed life.
Posted over on Identity Theory