I wrestle with my morning coffee
shuffling pages
in a trancelike state of
newspaper consciousness.
Bomblast leaves fourteen dead in Mombasa:
or was in eighteen? two Isrealis for sure
The Kenyans exist
in a faded one-liner.

West of Mecca,
and farther still across the Atlantic
you can hear the war drums,
and the dazzling voices beneath your feet;
forcing the world to be free.

Hatred goes down as history
in a blood trail
on long horizontal pages.
It didn’t spring up yesterday.
The evidence,
and moralistic intentions
shine bright on the myriad headstones
Nothing changes down-stream.
Nothing with man changes.

Behind a table of silk suits,
bi-focals, and liberalism
(with six seats to spare)
every word will be revised,
misspelt, or forgotten
as required.
It’s an awkward thing
this preoccupation
with killing.

Somewhere, and everywhere along the border
Paisas dream of gold
Risking their essence for a better life –
in America.
Only to realize
their fate is preordained
to the fields, the prisons
or, death in the desert heat: al fin libertad!

I read of a Texas girl
huddled in a corner, in the darkness
of a locked closet. Surrounded
by food crumbs, excrement, and
the overwhelming pungency of urine.
She’d been there for months,
or eternity. Perhaps never.
She was eight. Twenty-five pounds.
Minus the innocence.
Plus or minus the scars.

Meanwhile, my coffee goes cold,
along with the general human condition.