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No Mas!

1.The Missing Ones

In bony villages of their earth,
the dead whisper among themselves.
Through mossy corridors of their retreat,
a chill wind blows stirring
dusty tongues to speech.

This they say: “We are the missing ones,
broken ones, the taken ones no longer whole.
We are the tortured, violated ones.
Give us back our names!”

Follow their words to where
darkness feeds eating up the light,
Where each voice shares a secret
too shameful to be shouted out,
making numb throats choke
on the words:  No Mas!

Where no eye tears
no heart bleeds,
nor hands articulate
to point toward crimes
committed in the name of country,
government, god or state, who knows better
of man’s inhumanity to man
then the Missing Ones.

Who will give them back their names?

2. The List

Within a stadium
Built for sport,
The chosen come.
Gathered here
By bus, by bayonet.
Banished into a night
Of games exchanging
Numbers for a seat.

In this stadium built for sport,
A game is played
Making grown men weep.
Warring against
The war inside,
Night opens
Into a mouthy yawn
As they fight
Against that luminous
Cloud of sleep where
Each mind drifts
Not knowing where,
Not knowing what may lurk
Behind the shadowy
Dawn to come.

Their number called,
Each climbs into a truck,
Warring against
The war inside;
The humiliating failing
Of bodies
Once their pride.

The sun rises,
Haunting the margins
Of their sight.
Everywhere,
Men with guns.
Young like them.
No triumphant smiles.
No pity either.

All alike,
Penniless passengers,
Potential suicides
With a one way ticket
To the cusp of time.
Trucks stop.
They climb out.
Lines of soldiers,
Sounds of falling boots.

Into the forest
Consuming them,
Yells striking like a slap.
Beyond the trees,
Branches fathoms deep.
Their minds
A whistling train
Of thought,
Trying to recall
Every memory it can,
Jumping tracks of pain.
Knowing no way out
But a falling hole
That becomes their sky
As the bright sun rises
Sleek as a bullet,
Petal smooth and bright.

3.The Phoenix

Something wild rides the wind tonight.
Smoke rises. Children cry. A shadow of wings
passes over the world as  long night comes
and we but half remember the color
of the rising sun. Something wild
outside our door with the odor of wounds
breeding into a frenzy.

Bad news never sleeps. No good wishing
can rub this landscape clean.
Everywhere, trust shaken, lives broken,
bad laws made. Fretfully, lovers hide
vulnerable as broken wings they hurry
along deserted streets, knowing how
all horizons lead back into the unpredictable
night.

Behind locked doors a baby cries.
children whisper knowing without knowing why
language is a crime. With no shoulder
strong enough, brave men shiver
as each knock comes under cover of darkness,
sounding like a falling sun.

Something rides the wild wind tonight.
Somewhere, they have taken
the rainbow meant for us
but the memory of its color thrusts
deep into the fire of our hope growing,
sparking against the colding dark
and we, though half remembering,
have it in us to burst apart this night
though our blood flower the fields
beneath the sun and we slip,
unknown and unknowing into the land
of the Missing Ones.

4.Christina

I would take you
Into the city of your dreams
My Christina,
Where every act
Spires toward the beautiful.

It is the morning after
The world we knew.
No one knows where
The doves have gone,
Instead of contented cats
On padded feet, armored cars
Prowl these streets.
People hesitate before
Each breath, unsure
What the next breath
Will bring.

Hunger forces us to search
The pond for fish. Fish strike
At anything that moves.
None grow wiser.
In beds of fear,
Young with old toss
Between the covers
Of fretful sleep.
Though night has turned
Into the lighter side of day,
Dogs bark, warning
Of a coming miracle
No man may see,
But senses in the air,
On the breeze.

Beyond the trees,
The owl admonishes
With his wide eyes.
A crow pecks
At a body
On the grass.
Worms squirm
Up and out
Of their damp burrows.

All in all,
It is a morning
Of deceptive tranquility.
The kind of morning
Presaging
Some grave event
Beyond understanding.
In a hundred fearful yards,
Bushes tremble
While the air quivers
To the march
Of military boots.

The lily
With the iris bend
Upon the hill
We kissed on,
Their petals pointing
To an empty cross
Angled toward tomorrow.

Unashamed it stands
Defiant against
The unpredictable sky
As lion and lamb
Reap what the wild wind
Provides. 

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