On glazed asphalt, the tank sits cored: slack treads
And scorched armor frame a funnel of earth
Shined like glass from the kiln. On wheels and doors,
Hoods and trunks, cars lie scattered with spent shells,
A humvee and jeep, pools of gummy blood
With clouds of fresh flies. Walls pocked from bullets.
In a meadow up the hill, six fresh graves
Hold wrapped bodies while seventeen stand stooped.
A robed man scans them with hickory eyes.
“Stand straight. You look half in the ground yourselves.”
From Cathartes Aura at the Last Call Mall, Chapter One, Verse One.
It all starts with a funeral.