The Burning of Bricks

photo: a town in flames

You will never understand the terror of metal,
of standing beneath the waves of four-engined machines as their bay
doors open. The flak rose, feared and futile, and the bombs
began to plummet toward us. Between was only air,
carrying our whines upward to meet those descending,
just a closing gravity between.

photo: a town in flames

You think the calls of sieg heil will dissipate like our cities
into ruins' smoke, gone with tomorrow's breeze. Perhaps
there will be a photo of a street cluttered with char,
but you will not see mist rising from burst-sundered bodies,
will not see pools of blood catching fire, the bricks melting
and then flaming like paper. Overhead is the inferno, heat taking
the shape of wind; like butter on a griddle, nearby bodies turn into wisp
with a hiss.

photo: a town in flames

We will be remembered for fifty years, and then the graves of those
that died and those that lived will be equally grown over by grass.
The shrieks, rare, will be of visiting children at play, romping by
the gravestones; more often, the whir will be of metal, but of the blades
of mowers. The new century will have come, and the story of our
lives will be as if told in latin, enunciations of a strange language
to be learned only in an approximate translation.