Men of good will
have lost their way
in the killing fields—
shooting at outsiders
who used to be men.

Shooting at each other—
more exciting than sex.

Blood tastes better
than vintage wine.

One of our dying guys
barely mumbles:
Giimmy me your Zippo.

If I was not ordered
to carry the BAR— slung
over my weary shoulder
with a torn rotator cuff,
I might have enjoyed
the camaraderie
of a walk in the sun—until
an ambush tourniquets my breath.

A burst of my machine gun
hops them up and down
with still-open eyes and red-hot toes.
Their legs scatter high in the air—
like the high kick-ready Rockettes.

We are all outsiders
who used to be human.

The quicksand of hate
sucks the love out of us,
and the elixir of violence,
promised a rush, until we see
what we have wasted.

We step into silence.