Photographing a Scream
I don't know how to close
The straps on a Kevlar vest.
Or how to kill a man
Across an ocean with slick dead
Thump of humming drone, or upclose stab
His soul out or how to keep my
Mind in heavy Afghan heat.
But I know this photo
Of a severed leg is a photo of a severed
Leg. The caption at its side: Nameless body wasn't found. Only
A leg was left behind in a tattered pants leg.
I know that children are
Happy teeth in open
Gap smiles and open
Minds to a bright world. Caption:
Here children smile
Beside the Killteamhelmetheaded creaking
Photo. More children; new caption.
Helmets threw candy down in the open
Ground beside the Stryker. The children screamed
For the colored sweet that adorned
Sand. They screamed because
The troops were rattled bored and
hadn't drank for days (they didn't have a
Shellshock jostled skull) and
Idleness can unmake minds
Sothe Stryker moved too, engine screaming
With laughs and drove over through the
And all that sand and candy mashed as one
Beneath the tirescars and flecks of
Tiny skulls and soft fingers crushed together.
Close-together flocks of birds are pecking away,
Tasting what's left. Different and sweet.
Other birds flap away from the daily thump of drones
Or little breezes that push the noontime sand along.