a journal of fantastical poetry

Punic War IV

by Sonya Taaffe

Is it all just Carthage
over again, that foreign city
you can raze to her children's bones
while your own dedicate themselves
to the funeral games of empire,
striking poses in white marble
polished highly as lies?
Is it just the Crusades
at seventy-two frames per second,
a desert of soldiers
with drones of righteousness,
the dream of a rood like the teeth of a dog
in the bone of a stranger's heart?
Are you still prosecuting
the war before the last war,
the next war already encysted
in our waving memories?
How thin the snail's shell
between Mars-red, Phoinix-porphyry.
How fragile the footage
—potsherds in the cloud—
of our victory.

May 24th, 2019

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