war poets [poem]

i think about war poets a lot
in the midst of everything –
the worst of worst times
men took the time to write
and i think, goddamn
isn’t that what we’ve always done?
littered with shrapnel and stepping over spent shells
don’t we return back to the one unerring need to tell?
spill it out until there’s nothing left but ashes
this is inside my head, is it inside yours too?
do you see it how i see it?
when there is nothing else we can do but speak
and pray for understanding when there’s nothing else left to pray for
and he died two years after writing this, they say
or he died three weeks before the end of the war
okay, i don’t know how to cope with that
nearlys and almosts and the cost of it all
creating beauty when the ground was sodden with blood and the air was rich with smoke
the fact that the phrase ‘war poet’ is beautiful even standing by itself
we are children, aren’t we? all of us?
and we’re screaming because we don’t know what else to do except that it hurts
it hurts to scream but it hurts more to stop
i think about war poets a lot
would you have liked me before my war
or do you only like the shape of me because of it?
am i a bomb site you like to visit?
is this a battle is this a battle is this a battle
so yeah, i think about war poets a lot

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