I did not bear witness.
Witness bore me into unspeakable depression.
When we talked to each other
we could not get past sports to politics.
Our sentences self-diverted around the storm
then stalled in the dull-drums.
We were not doing well.
Time shape-shifted into the albatross around my neck.
Though I tried to give you honest answers
I failed, but lied in less than half the responses.
Those lies were about the factual truth.
What I spoke was my emotional truth.
Inadvertently I became a master of avoidance—
especially from others in this dark solitude.
My mind lost descriptive words from lack of use.
Language refused to be a shovel to dig my depression deeper.
Language took a stab at crude description
and pierced witness through the left foot into the ground.
It described a littered street as a slaughter house.
The deceased lay with hands tied behind their backs.
There were no more cheeks to turn.
Justice required a reckoning.
I waged war with love on my tongue
and in my murderous hands.
That was why POWs lived
to have a day in court.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney