The Armor Dims

featured in Rumsfeld’s Sandbox

Chivalry fights to the last breath,
gasps on Chivas to bury
ripost upon ripost, cries
like widows restrained by
their own sad impulse.
Death dawns,
dearth and drawn
in upon itself, the poor
still swill of liquor in the mouth
as it kills the miming will.
And the prenatal murders,
the blast of powder and keg
while young boys scream out
to the loves who will never know
them. The men whose bondage
descends from the stairwell
of civilization feast
upon the scraps
of their own brown
brothers; electric chairs,
ropes burned crisp with fresh
flesh, inner cities full
of needles
and fields of fire.
We’ve searched hard
for the tarnish of blade
or blood steeped in stool,
aiming to save one man
from the loss of another
trembling strain.
But in vain.
We’ve wrapped ourselves tight
in fear and doubt,
dying to climb out, spread
our weakening wings like a
blazing banner in harrowing heat.
Then—
I know, in the cusp of my grave
need, no knight stands without sacrifice.
This is the culture of death.

 

First published in decomP Magazine, December 2008.