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shock and awe
Operation Iraqi Freedom, March 2003
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

collectively, we dance not at all well
heavy-footed, lopsided
without flow

Rumsfeld’s voice is
playing through
the backdrop:
it's time for action
he sings
it's for the good of all
he croons

the song races
over his tea-set skin
pouring oceans of sweat
into the crease of his elbow
the slight peak of his upper lip
the tang of his wet hair
rolling out into the stale smoke of an Iraqi morning

a slight apple taste is in the air
it could be from the rot
it could be from breakfast
he cannot distinguish
much beyond the sand

it mingles with a need
to force himself into every word
to be what Rumsfeld insists he is
to personify every single line
of this song

and so he dances
one morning
thrusting his palms
into the heat
of the glare of CNN cameras
oblivious to the smack
of his harsh itching idealism
as it meets the war
off beat

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version
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