THE REAL CURRENCY OF THE WORLD
The real currency of the world is a weapon,
the true spider-bankers of the world
behind their dripping grave nets,
full of the dismembered parts of people,
arms manufacturers. And the weapons
may have evolved
at replicating themselves like genes,
but not the chimpanzees.
Why is it always disfigured old men,
icons of gluttony,
entrenched in their ideologies
like bad wisdom teeth
who send young men off to war
to die like brave ideas
so that they can replace
one bullet with more?
What better market could you wish for
than that in which you sell your product one day
and the boys and toys are broken the next
and tomorrow’s already unmanned?
There’s a young girl
with her knees drawn up to her chin
huddled in a doorway like a fossil.
She’s been broken like bread
among the ravaging soldiers
but still she’s starving.
She looks into the camera of the world
with the frank eyes of a child
who knows it for what it is and isn’t
way too early.
It’s a bag of flour
that’s been dropped
from the back of a truck.
It’s a pail in a makeshift sewer,
the Via Cloacum, the mother of flies;
it’s death to look at,
it’s death to see
inside and out,
both sides of her eyes,
the same mindless atrocity
on the same timeless TV.
mouthing the same processed compassion
as her death goes in and out of fashion.
I don’t know what’s happened to the sun
but in this century
everywhere you walk in the light
you’re followed by your own shadow
shouldering a gun.
And the black holes in the ground
where they keep the nuclear warheads
what are they already
even before they go off
if not mortal wounds
in the heart and mind and flesh of a child
you did not feed
you did not heal
you did not educate
you did not love
you did not keep from death?
Haven’t we learned yet
after so many mass graves
have been buried
by our sensitive distinctions,
that it’s the ghosts of the children we’ve killed
that foul our breath
with the stench of death within us?
Do we live so others can die?
Do we see and think and feel and imagine,
free to peek over the walls we built
by standing on someone else’s skull?
Is intelligence a cannibal
and the truest enterprise
of the human heart,
a blood sport?
Why defame God or the Devil
for suffering in the world
when we thrive
on the self-fulfilling atrocities
of our own evil?
Sweden and Israel
want to sell jet-fighters to India
but the Americans intervene
because Boeing and Northrup
fear the disclosure of their arts
might upstage the wizardry
of their latest, upgraded weaponry,
and there are rich men in exclusive offices
suppurating their morals into ulcers
to arm the rabid biophobes with fangs
to make a child haemmorage like a rose?
A million people killed,
ripped like pages from their lives
for every year of the last century
and we’re barely into this one
and how many children
have already been surrendered
to the jaws of Moloch and Baal
eating like overfed brokers of death
in an elegant, Washington hotel?
Love has to put a hood over its head
and lie down with the dead
whenever these assholes
take a woman to bed
to expurgate their stealth
with the roomy privileges of wealth.
How many children
can dance the danse macabre
on the slaughter-house floor
of the credit-card that killed them?
And even when you give back
to those you’ve taken from
your gifts are wrapped
in the skin and ribbons of blood
you’ve exacted like a cosmetic scalpel
from every child you’ve cut
like a bruise from an apple
or the green star
at the core of the planet
that shines over them like seeds.