Poems by Karl Kirchwey

Blackberries

Villanelle

Repair

 

Villanelle


            (Remembering Manadel Al-Jamadi, and Others)

“They stressed him out so bad he passed away,”
then buried him in ice like Heinekens.
I don’t believe a single word they say,

the euphemism of its stubbornly
embedded in the jargon of complacence:
“They stressed him out so bad he passed away.”

rigged up with wires like a Christmas tree,
the hooded man, the threatened into balance.
I don’t believe a single word they say,

but the photographs tell a more complex lie.
Thumbs-up, the woman soldier points and grins:
“They stressed him out so bad he passed away,”

and images framed in complicity
survive as the most lethal evidence.
I don’t believe a single word they say,

although self-image takes a while to die,
denial so wrought up with impudence.
“They stressed him out so bad he passed away.”
I don’t believe a single word they say.

(May 2004)

 

 

From: THE HAPPINESS OF THIS WORLD (G.P. Putman’s Sons, 2007)