one war ends

i
one war ends neatly
& our flag is furled carefully
into its ceremonial
sheath

ii
was this one possibly a mistaken
war? of national hubris &
predictable calamity? why did
we need/want/insist on
going to war when all the world
begged us not to?

iii
for domestic political purposes?
perhaps?

iv
was this
a budgeted or an unbudgeted
war? we sold no bonds, demanded
no homeland sacrifice, made a
staggering down-payment in
human blood

v
what will we say to the soldiers
who won’t be coming home &
how will we welcome the soldiers
we don’t really want to come home?

vi
how will we compensate for their
torn bodies or post-traumatic-stress
disorders or cope with their crimes &
suicides? or staunch the bleeding in
their families?

vii
why do we beat our drums proclaiming
freedom when we spend decades
propping up dictators? that is,
until they disappoint us

viii
what would this world be like
if America actually acted on principles
like liberty or justice?

ix
at ground zero, we are dedicating
national memorials, re-building
office space, haggling over
payments for local injuries

x
what of the people of our
host/enemy country? were they/
are they with us or against us?
we consider their shattered lives
collateral damage––an unfortunate, but
necessary, expense of war.

did we offer them a benedictory
prayer on our departure for their
life-long wounds & severed
body parts? for a generation of
widows or their annihilated husbands?

xi
was oil the secret goal of grasping
war? have we found a righteous way
to feed our need for crude?

xii
in penance, why don’t we face our
addictions cold turkey & found a world
of clean water, clear air, no garbage, un-
fracked aquifers & open hearts?

xiii
is the military-industrial complex an
inspirational mythology
or simply a grim fact?
we have invoiced away
our children’s and our children’s
children’s inheritance. & we have
mindlessly poisoned the next generation
& the next.

xiv
greed is the third deadly sin

xv
then there’s the matter of judgment––

xvi
… What hast thou done? The voice of
thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from
the ground.

And now art thou cursed from the earth,
which has opened her mouth to receive
thy brother’s blood from thy hand…

Thou shalt not kill

xvii
Thou shalt love one another
& love the earth & all that lives––
for this is thy dominion
created for you.