What The General Didn’t Mention

For engagement
To see nobody:
A moment invisible,
Travelling in shadow
   With message ready
To unleash
     The chaos of hell, of battlefield.
A word alien,
Each sound a miracle of atom and particle
As bodies tremble.
A second, a sign, an allegory
Until a switch to voices of
How friendly.
           With noise intimate,

  As butcher bird appears
         With something
Much more personal.

Execution perfect
In the high altitude of killing.

Ready to avenge himself
   How do you describe me?
As Bringer of War?
Or Peace?
   By Jupiter,
     All these things –
A regular corpse-maker.
      Trained well
To see the best of all possible scenarios,
Though now it’s done
A land I neither know nor believe in.
To make sense giving thanks:
"Gloria tibi domine"
    A repeated prayer, a repeated failure,
Something my orders didn’t mention.

      Began to walk.
            To go
   "Going to the limit"
With no understanding
Except myself as limit.
  What is today limit? Nothing.
No music
     Just shadows,
A stump.
To dance the dance macabre.
The comedy finished.
I shall not wake from this magic sleep
Either as Roland or Darius,
or The Lion himself, David.

Put down instead
like the dog I followed and believed in.
I’m going up the line tonight.
Looking neither left nor right

   All contracts filled
By this rotten earth
   All places extinguished,
   As the darkness folds

Around these words.
I vanish mocking each syllable,
My jaw fixed,
Unable to move –
   The sound still,

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