he chewed cigarette ash
in his cleanest
still lodged in his fingernails.
the april sun plastered itself to the grass at his feet,
american bodies watering american dirt (this
is what they say for soft hands meeting,
splattering their signatures onto pages
to chords of gunpowder agony) and
the old world shriveled, coiling
into a grave close enough
to smell from the surface and
light eclipses the midnight
of her hair.
yesterday they stacked their weapons
and let wives suck trigger bruises
off their fingers, and everybody
was safe but not really, and everybody
was everybody but not really. today,
colors drip down
a dead man’s throne.
spray-painted words entangle on the plaque
beneath his horse’s feet. lime greens kiss reds,
blues sob into yellow carvings.
tomorrow, they’ll scrape
all the colors off the gray,
as terrorists. but
right now she’s still smiling,
her teeth a purer white, and
there are enough flowers
across the ground
to fill a battlefield.