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Death By Murder

Nato kills top Serb general,
the headline assures us.
How nice for Nato,
just add him to the 5000-plus troops
turned to toast in their barracks
or blown to smithers in bunkers
who’d recently been wondering
what the fuck they were doing there
who needn’t wonder anymore
and the 10,000 or so wounded
who are still wondering
and the collateral bystanders
much too dead to think about why.
Just add him to that,
it’s a simple statistic,
all in another day’s grisly work
from 15,000 feet and above.
But what the hell,
that’s what soldiers are there for,
isn’t it? Even top generals.
To kill and be killed.
So piss on them.
As for civilians,
killed by Nato, killed by Serbs,
killed by each other for all we know,
or driven by fear from homes into nightmares,
let’s face it: there are no innocent victims.
Ever.
In all situations, at all times,
all souls are right where they should be.
And each one is “Christ Himself, buddy,”
the fucking general included.
And Milosevic. And Bill Clinton.
And (God help us) Tony Blair.
And in any war,
all targets are legitimate,
otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
But this was no war, more a bloody massacre;
the ‘other side’ (down below) never fought back.
Every murder cuts me to the quick,
all acts of carnage diminish my humanity.
So must we put the world on trial,
seeing as how guilt drips from all our hands?
The world is on trial,
the God within us fighting tooth & nail
each blood-stained step of the way
for a compassionate dismissal,
clear light at both ends of the tunnel.
Yet don’t ask me
to donate my pocket change
for some Kosovo relief fund.
Let Nato pay for its own war crimes.

EDDIE WOODS
June 6th 1999

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