On A Killing: May 1, 2011

Originally posted 5/2/2011.

I’m not embarrassed to say
that I can acknowledge
the hyena in me and say
with only a little shame
that I’m glad he’s dead.

I’m not embarrassed to say
you embarrass me
by choosing from among
so few sides
when there are so many
to choose from
when looking at this.

I’m looking at you
with your flag and your beer
and your three-letter chant
and your brave,
brave sneer.

I’m looking at you
with your Truth fliers
and your semi-conscious racist

no way those brown bastards could have done that to us.

I’m looking at you
reciting the ritual retelling
from the teleprompter
to make sure
we feel enough fear
to fall into joy
upon clinical description
of the wet work involved.

I’m looking at you
beat down by deceit
for so many years
you won’t believe a thing
till you can personally stick
your oft-betrayed fingers
in the bullet holes
and now you won’t get the chance
so you won’t believe anything, 
anything at all.

I look at myself in a long tall mirror,
wondering if I
look much as I did
ten years ago.  I can’t imagine
I do.  I have taken in all 
that’s being said, and
it feels like shrapnel
remodeling me.

And then, because I must,
I’m finally looking at him —
thinking of how it must have been;
surprised at first,
then not at all,
then blind and deaf and
dead.  See his skin 
scraped for samples,  
see the corpse
slipped into a body bag,
see it all slide into the sea,
his body breaking surface
and sinking into a singularity
that will suck us in
for a long time yet.

I don’t know if I can ever
disbelieve in karma,
but I try. Am I supposed
to forgive? They say it’s 
healthy and healing. I try to forgive,
but I don’t know how — 

it comes out every time
as the scream
of a hyena.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

5 responses to “On A Killing: May 1, 2011

  • Eileen

    so much anger so much pain……..How did you put Tony Brown back together again?

    Today is one of those day’s when I feel unglued…..melting at my core…no gold or God there………………reading this made me realize how mild my struggle really is…..and that people survive so much more and turn it into poetry so people like me can read it and get a grip and go on. Thanks is an inadequate word.

    • Tony Brown

      How did I put Tony back together again? I didn’t. I’ve been frozen in broken pieces in some ways since 9/11. Killing bin Laden didn’t help me thaw, but I have to acknowledge that it didn’t make me too sad, either.

      • Eileen

        Doubt if many of us felt sad about Bin Laden. I think the letting go of hate/bitterness is for us once the need for protection of those we love is gone.

  • Yuvathi

    woah! how metaphorical! loved it 🙂

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