Theater of War
The tear that emerged from the corner of my right eye
was involuntary, automatic when the vet assistant
handed a limp bag to a lady with curly white hair,
saying, “She’s still warm.” Probably still warm also
those bodies in a ditch at Hamid Karzai International Airport,
though unaccompanied by a tear from my right eye.
No tears either over dark clothed bodies in the ruins
of Mariupol, its rubble a photojournalist noticed
at both edges of the frame, and the cloud above
which was not a cloud, but smoke over a lawn of death.
A pang, finally, when a pregnant woman is carried
across more rubble on a litter, a slice of her naked belly
visible as blanket and clothing slipped in hurried steps
toward a birth much like a flash of light and ball of fire.