July 17, 2008


Hard to describe blown-off-ness of a head:
No head, neck, shoulder – only flopping flesh,
Unfinished ending of a smooth-limbed, fresh,
Strong, naked body on white-sheeted bed;
A tangled, mangled churning; then, instead
Of the anticipated face (serene
As marble statue, Christmas figurine)
Instead, disorganized meat, spilling red.

No face or brains or hair. We’re sick, confused.
The torn-off torso seems to have the calm
Proportions of an adult – look again:
The genitalia of a boy of ten.
“Collateral damage” is the term that’s used.
Beside the body, on the sheet, an arm.

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008

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