I read poetry by poets who have never met ten
Puerto Rican girls singing and dying at a funeral;
never saw an old man about to slit the throat of one
of his own fine goats.
Have you ever seen a man take the life of his own wife
with a club?
Have you ever seen one wave take the life of ten thousand
men, women, and children like they were simply dust?
I have seen things that a slip of paper cannot hold.
I have kissed the brunette hair of the woman that I was
in love with while she was lying there in her casket.
I have written a song for my son who died at age three.
I have remembered long goodbyes like they were ten
thousand winters in Soviet Russia.
I have seen tanks run over a man until he was down to
I have seen a field piled high with the pale limbs of men
and women who were stacked up like cord wood like they
did not even matter.
I have seen things in the nature of man that I wish I could
erase from my eyes, so this page could be blank--
but it isn’t.