On a clear night
I should see the moon full silver
in a sky shot by moonbeams.
Not greyed by a smoky mist
and dust clouds rising from the ruins.
I should see a black, black sky.
Not bright from the orange glow
from the fires of hell on earth.
Which send sparks high enough
to compete with the stars,
the pinpoint moonbeam spangles.
Not beamed by lasers.
I should hear the silence
in the depth of the black night,
not the explosive cacophony
bought by the masters of war
and the silent screams
buried in the rubble.
I should hear people talking in the street
and the music and laughter of the night.
I should see them walking home
to feel firm flesh loving and soft
unsplintered and unblemished by shrapnel,
masquerading as humanity and
wrapping themselves in the uniforms
of thousand years old myths
dressed up as history.
These should be my rights.
But they aren’t.
I have no rights.
Nor do you.
Only what they give us,
the men of the flags,
First published by Harbinger Asylum, Literary Review, Spring, 2015