The Next Death

War Picture

His eyes held such animalistic awareness,
As if the sentient being had been knocked, shocked out of him,
And rather than expecting to turn and see a love,
He saw his next death.

He saw his next death in front of him at all times,
Like some misty smoke screen, a watermark on his vision.
His face glazed burgundy with mud and blood
Which, at this point, had become one and the same.
One as plentiful as the other.

The hollow creature had once been hallowed.
The strange creature had once been strong.
The crippled creature had once grappled with things much larger than he.
Now how he stares.
How fragile.

That is all that comes to mind: how fragile he is.
What will his next death be? And will his next death be enough to kill him?
Will he be strangled, shot, drowned, crushed, poisoned, shocked, burned, stabbed, cut in half, blown to bits?
Will his heart stop of its own will because it cannot endure any more?
Will his mind betray him and lead him to an early coffin?

How easy it is to kill.
What innate lack of skill
Does it take. No creativity.
Certainly a tedious activity,
No doubt. Couldn’t be bothered.
Because I am not, altogether,
Sure that it achieves anything.

When all is said and done,
A man killed in the name
Of God or country or valor
Is no different and quite the same
As a man with empty veins
Over food or water or shelter:

He is gone.


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