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
groaning for satisfaction.
Copyright 2014 Ricky Barrow