Friday, September 17, 2010

soldiers work - draft 2

slaughtered by force, by AIDS, by starvation
i want my words, our words, all of our words to heal
there is no fairy dust in our pens
only ink
blue black
like me, like them

what good is poetry
if it cannot keep them from
living in fear of death
of life

this was all planned i suppose
met over with tea and milk
"they no longer kow why they are fighting, nor whom
violence for violence's sake"

those are my arms in eastern congo
reaching for freedom
my sweat, my heart beating, my breath musty
that's me, that's you
hiding behind bushes, dirt, exposed

sexual assaults five times more that gunshots
they is not multiplication
they are women
real eyes that burn
real stretch marks and skin carried real babies
heavy hearts that hold hope

dear God how can i make my words my life
mean something to them

in a bed across the way
a man is chanting
a woman is knitting
"the smell is awful" a doctor warns
"she's only fourteen" whispers an aide

four years old children should be
sticking out tongues and dancing to drums
eighty years old grandmothers and grandfathers
should be passing down stories and lies and God
not dying from or living with plunder and rape

sodomized men
fathers forced to commit incest
with daughters, brothers, sisters

she passed out before they finished with her
"eight or ten of them raped me"

parents and siblings commanded to witness
husband tied to the hut to watch his wife be raped
by men he cannot fight
there are no words for the coiling of his blood
the pain in her spirit

over and over several men gang rape a woman

look at us in our fancy goodwill clothes
with our notebooks and pens
ready to set the world free
we are numb to hearing about the commonplace assaults
as if we are watching a CSI marathon
this is real life there
as we eat steak and complain about organic or processed food
the economy, permed or locked hair
and the presidents birthplace

our sisters are domestic and sexual slaves
women and girls kidnapped
the evening grows louder with whispers
as armed men divide into groups
just after nightfall

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