Here, today, on this wide plain, war.
A spilling. A multitude
being shed. Conflict and denial
blooming like nightshade; pale, pale
roses laid upon fresh-turned earth;
I call this out, flooding the hot, darkened air
with my ocean voice, standing still
and claiming this will hold the field for peace;
but the fire sweeps forward, apparently proof
against all I can do as my sword hand
reprimands my tongue, saying:
you have abdicated your place, it’s my turn.
My sword reprimands my pen,
saying: no to your arrogance, your assurance
that your way is mightier; I am ready
for what comes next
as you are not.
Shamed and unable,
I am surrounded with burning,
confused, terrified; which weapon
should we choose — should we fold back
into our words or fall silent, save our breath,
and fight? All I can think of are
my sharpened senses,
the stench, and the flame. There’s
no right, no wrong, no words,
and no sword; only this unspeakable war,
fought from moment to moment
with anything at hand, never to end.