Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scarlet Ballet

He didn’t know why today was different.
Seeking perhaps to distance himself
from this odd, slow-motion scene
of piling, armed carnage,
he decided the hundreds of sprouting wet holes
in so many bodies
were simply a form of deflation
which politely collapsed them
on others’ sprawled limbs
as dead leaves float eerily to earth,
discreetly clothing their roots.
He didn’t know why it was different, today.
His trained body absorbed the blows
of jackhammer recoils as
a flashing, fire-river, steel-jacket eruptions
endlessly poured from his weapon
and for a suspended, sacred moment...
he saw it;
without stopping,
his secret eyelids opened and
he saw it:
unfortunate dancers sacrificially indulged
in smoky ballet.
All, born for this moment;
accompanied by spewing rounds

of splattered pings from scalding casings,
their tap-dance symphony of chimes,
with barrel as conductor's wand
he directed bodies to pirouette,
spin twisted contortions, spill their organs
and teeth
on the stage,
staining each other, expiring as

wilting mannequins;
flopping, red-slimed, open-eyed fish.
Then, without applause,
he stood alone
in that choking, cloudy, gunsmoke heaven,
unsure who had stolen paradise;
he discovered that some ghosts cannot be buried,
they must be disassembled.
He did not know why, today,
war had become so different.

Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Brown