Eighteen-sixty eighteen sixty-four,
six hundred ten thousand men
gaseous gray, blackened body parts
like chopped wood in Virginia sunshine.
Or nineteen-fourteen nineteen-eighteen,
trench rats, thousands, big as badgers,
rip chines from horse and human flesh.
IED's, cluster bombs, punji sticks,
primed to shred feet, thighs, spine, sack,
yesterday, when we were countless.
Conscience says Count them up and be good,
suck on me like red candy stick
in casual lookaway moments.
Protected by neighbors, two girls
villagers know to be deficient
doll themselves up as bombs
for market day's chickens and yams,
and like a world-body neural surge,
their protectors fly into fatty parts.