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(2 October 1993 / Holland, Michigan)

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Afghanistan

I play video games
On the
Television screen,
Thinking little
Of the
Violence
That

Comes on them
As Mario throws
Bob-ombs
Or as soldiers kill
each other in
A way that players don’t
Think,
For 9/11 meant
Nothing
To any of us
And we
Throw it
Away
As if

Nothing
Ever
Happened.

Yet I grow
Older,
And I realise
That war
Is
A horrible
Thing.
Every step I take
Sand shuffles in
An American soldier’s boot,
With every
Heartbeat

Another soldier’s
Heart beats
Faster than
Mine
Can ever

Imagine.

My strides
Are like
Smoke,
Welling up

From all the read bombs
Detonating
All over the field.

I try to do good
But nothing I
Could do
Would ever
Change
What was happening there.

As my pencil writes,
A man’s throat is slit,
Blood pouring
Out of his wound

Like a crimson waterfall
Out of a fountain.

As I try to do good
Things
My hands
Are
Like


Guns,
Ready
To take
Aim
And

Ready to kill

However innocuous

As I type,
Bombs burst,
Banging with every click,
And the sweat on my brow
Is the sweat


Of the man,
The tortured man,
The man,


The man in Afghanistan.

My cut is his cut,
My vision is his,
My bruises are his bruises,
And it gets worse.

Every time I write
Of the beach and sand,
Another city is

Demolished under my feet.

Submitted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 13, 2013


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