Books Reviews

Poem: mass murder is collateral damage

By: Archita Mittra


tonight, the goddess walks on moss & stone,
skin stained sunset, a sky that swirls & bleeds
into cob-webbed eyes dreaming the other country.
tonight, the goddess walks without love or myth
as shadow, counting the arrow birds,
tasting autumn & death. she steps
(without meaning to) on the eggs of ants.
tomorrow she will watch (blind folded)
each of her hundred sons die fast, like flies
or drowned child brides.

tonight, the king without throne or history,
with eyes red as the ancient dying sun
loses for the first time, his counting game.
faces & bones lie piled, below a sky black with vultures
& shame. rains flee. in time, all mangled bodies
lose their names, like stories never written down.
in time, the king shall build a shrine & rule the dead,
like the god of old.

tonight, the fate of the world dangles
off the whims of a psychopath.
in distant isles, children play by the ocean
glittering in the sun, taste sky-blue joy.
tonight, they will not return home.
they will remember a mushroom cloud, vesuvius,
hanging over their dreams, the taste of forever.
they will hold hands even as they fall apart.
(forever still tastes like ash)

someone, a child or a dream, prays for justice
to the endless wind. collateral damage, someone lies
mouth full of ants, like the god of old.


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