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the surprise of death in war



eager gameboys
the stimulation
of the simulation
competitive killing
points scored and levels made
style counts more than staying alive
body counts a mere tally of progress:
order + hierarchy = control;

but how different the bands of feral men
whose dark desperate eyes
are blind to undo and restart
who trained in basic bloodletting
and know death like a brother
and marry life like a wife

they kill us! shriek the technowarriors
it hurts they ignore the rules
we don't come home it hurts
we must kill them, fuck the rules
us or them must kill them
we want to come home
we didn't sign on for this:
survival > honor;

you come to me, to my land,
to my family, to my home
seeking to impose your preference
your desire, your whim
your power upon me and mine:
we shall see how your crushing machineries
fare against my chaos

we are the brave, the best,
and we don't have to prove it
we shouldn't have to prove it
we've never had to prove it
we did what we were told
we trained like athletes, to compete,
make some money, maybe sell some shoes
not to be slaughtered, to learn fear
not to discover the real
only to lose it:
a flag != moral absolution.

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.