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Bennett (A Eulogy)

He clears his throat
And approaches his pulpit
Camouflage falling away;
There's no more scope to hide behind
But the scope of his words

And they twist in their too-small seats
Yawning off a night of empty conversation
When he does it
They're engaged in their own petty grievances
When he brings the hammer down,
Each passing phrase
Dulling their selfish roars another notch
Until it's only him
His robes ruffled
A bounty of anecdote and paradigm
Reminding them all that beneath every "f*** you"
There is a person

"You can wring humanity from horror"
That's what he tells them
That war is ugly and money is uglier
That blood and oil may separate
But that doesn't mean they won't be mixed
And yet—

With a bandage in his hand
And the weight of his shell-shocked ancestors
Leavening his lungs with every breath,
He can plug up the wounds that fester in the threads of each flying flag
And whisper the truth about allegiance
To the children who are told to pledge it

He can't glue the puzzle together
When the pieces were deliberately designed for dissonance
But he can file their edges
So someone else will

And if he dies, he tells them
If he's shut up in a wooden sepulcher
And sent to rot or ash
Beneath a grotesque orgy of Stars and Stripes
His only regret will be the revocation of opportunity
To tell his children
That blood and tears will always be mixed
That the puzzle will always be jagged
That life is never worth as much as victory
So they should lay their bandages at their feet
And hug their complacency tight

And he lets them touch the vastness of his narrative
The tumbling contradictions
And ostentation
In this, the tale of his transformation
He tosses back a vial of holy water
And swirls it on his tongue
Because desecration never tasted so sweet

He lets them watch as he layers on a helmet and a badge
And ships himself to Hell
Not for their "freedom"
But for his
And the electricity of the proposition
Moves them all to tears

Boots on the ground
Could never beat
A well organized counter-strike
Of the tongue



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LetsLiveSuddenly This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 21 at 11:16 pm
i love you 
 
StaceyKat said...
Dec. 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm
My heart swells with emotion every time I read this. Beautiful <3
 
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