The Least Savory Thing

It’s the least savory thing in us,

but it’s there,

like the bulge in the man’s side,

and every now and then,

we have to do something terrible

to assuage it.

In the centuries of the human midden

it recurs over and over,

a layer of ash

piled with more skeletons,

more steel than usual.

Bones of the folk in the market place,

who were roused by the cloaked men

speaking the fiery will of god.

Bones of the armed boys.

Bones of the mounted horses.

Battle axes plunged into heads;

brains and spent genitals

groping in the wet earth.

Bones of the women

who, on the morrow of the genocide,

went to the still tormented fields

to gather the rings and the teeth

of their dead men.

The ash of historical facts

piles up in books and universities

and at the end of stale bus tours,

and we sift through it,

still learning nothing,

still powerless to appease

the bulge in the side,

or the bones splitting in the

yawning fields,

groaning for satisfaction.



Copyright 2014 Ricky Barrow

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