Mother, I have come home from the war
temporarily. Accepting my losses like a good soldier,
picking the scabs from my wounds.
In the field among smoke I murdered
many men for you. The first to go was your
father. I put rose petals in his mouth to cover
the stench of whiskey, then bound his hands with
our tears and poverty.
I cut off the blood circulation to his manhood,
and watched it turn as black as your childhood.
Then I laughed and smoked a cigarette, told God
I could never be like Jesus.
When I go back, I shall have Shakespeare and
Rossetti by my side. They are ancient heroes
and trust no one.
this poem first appeared in Dance to Death and Carcinogenic Poetry