Published: January 19, 2013
I wanted a war-time melody for the aching ears of all the people who silently protest the military efforts of our time; a song to soothe, a flood of words in which to drown our battered hopes, for their mercy. So I conjured in my rib-caged eye the images of war,
the open minds of fallen soldiers, spilling New York and Los Angeles, Moscow and Baghdad onto the streets of anywhere; their mouthing wounds elevating cries into the city stench of gunpowder blackened buildings; the look on their eyes when the true meaning of damage and collateral crashes into their fleshy souls, begging in curses, wailing arms at them for a redraw of the cards: You instead, not my little boy! But every soldier is a little boy,
and as I saw them huddled beside Humvees, warding cold deserts with divine stories of mundane happenings at hometown proms, repeating to themselves this weapon is lighter than a wrench; as I saw them mourning for the friends that wouldn't recognize them, returned, victorious shells, I realized that war-time songs
are the only kind we've known. Because the Texas born marines that died in Baghdad also died in Palestine, and those who died in Palestine now died at Berlin's heart, and those who died in Berlin still float, face down, in the Achilles River. Being the trick so old, I grew silent
and somewhere in that silence a flak grenade went off, tearing teeth from gums and brain; somewhere there was a look on the eyes of a child who, facing the sky, knew those falling stars would not come softly; somewhere the empty magazine of history was drawn and thanks to that silence of mine, a new one was inserted.