“Love on the Eve of War”
I know why you will not talk, I cannot blame you,
the war crimes that are not by our hands,
they remain in them, how can I let them go?
there is more and I do admit the offense
for my eating fast,
those years alone, I envied peopleless streets
and the dullness of unanticipated tires
I had only replies from flaking flashbacks,
to friends and conversations
who now point the way to my wake,
but these tribunals of war,
who is still burnt at Auschwitz?
Are they Jewish thinkers reminding us
ours is an annihilating faith?
the Palestinian names buried by Israeli memorials?
The Polish Catholics locked in once Nazi then Leninist
now North Americanist confessionals?
How many still pass through Auschwitz’s gates?
the daughter I saw beaten by the son
celebrating the rite of teen love?
the boy shot for being too slow
to outrun a gun for hire justice?
Work makes freedom still barb wires
our jumping feet,
the massacres of unchristian innocence
still one on St. Valentine’s Day,
as we fail to be,
we, as in the yet to be birthed humaneness,
as in Chicago,
as in you whose words I have unjustly wounded,
your hands turn away from my kaddish touch,
crystal night, the yellow stars still smolder
in our rejected caresses,
in the repeating message
the party I seek can’t come to the phone
we are pulled to the left, retrieved by the right,
crushed in place,
the question still pours out its ash,
it is not who must survive,
but rather the muteness
torn from a gashing word,
the unanswerable who asks me why,
for all these crimes of unliving
we are ordered to commit to,
must this relationship stand convicted?
© David Arenas 3/19/03
© David Arenas Short Stack Story Time 2015