Under mud and brittle leaves, in a month named for war,
the throes of spring begin, ecstatic and adorned for war.
Behold the hordes stumbling in cracked earth, clutching
their children, torn, numb. They will be blamed for war.
Of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide, 100 million
belong to the Kalashnikov family, a family famed for war.
Behold the desperate vessel tossed at sea, the tiny body
on the beach. For what are we thus shamed? For war?
The nominee presumed to know the people’s needs. In fact,
he understood their fear. And so he campaigned for war.
Consider the irony in the nomenclature of genocide: Apache,
Kiowa, Chinook, Tomahawk. We use these names for war.
In Belgium, 1915, poppies dotted the shattered fields.
In Kandahar, 2018—a sea of poppies farmed for war.
The slogan reads Our Children, Our Future. But the displaced
children have no future—an entire generation claimed for war.
The ex-soldier cannot sleep. He is afraid of crowds, loud
noises, even trash. Is this what it means to be trained for war?
Who cares that a short-tailed bandicoot rat went extinct
when the Mesopotamian Marshes were drained for war?
The ancient Romans extolled the dual virtues of spring,
a time for planting, a time when earth grew warm for war.
Even I, Kafir, nonbeliever that I am, can see the coming
of a time when all months shall be renamed for war.