Realities Afar

a toddler cradled

no, clasped
in desperate arms

his bicep quakes

he knows how
ill-suited his talent,
his skill, is to pierce
slender veins

the screams mingle
in your dreams
when they
pile the tears
in our ears

her bones glisten
under folds of red

out the dusty window
she doesn’t see
the crimson sun beseech
the shallow moon

once again sleep falters
night sings the shells throb

the toddler thrashes
in a basket crib
for potatoes

she knows no other song
these drums to the dead
spit concrete and dread

how do we live

distance relegates the wise
to words while our actions afar
drop a coin but never a tear

the page, the tube, each
muffles the anguish
fixed for feast

sisters and brothers, bombs
don’t hold prejudice
all blood smears

shells splatter
metal scatters
the drums thunder
the chorus of war
the pleas of dying

the ratings feed
this regime
to entertain
the loss
of pain

on our crystal screens
to tempt our apathy

her fingers clench
a doctor’s cuff
asking the question
every child should


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