When people yell at me
their words turn yellow—
a pained shade not close to Midas-gold.
This is the America that celebrated napalm.
I see it burn in the digital afterglow
of online gun sales.
When it exits a wound
blood becomes far more real
than feelings expressed in therapy.
I think of the neighborhood musicians
who somehow create new cords
out of gang violence.
A rat-ta-tat-tat rhythm
to full- and semi-automatic assault weapons
secondarily directed at smart phone documentarians.
I see the fresh dirt in the churchyard cemetery.
It is thick with worms
hungry for pinkish lungs clutching the last breath.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney