Friday, May 16, 2008

"If I am fit to kill, am I fit to live?"

Stumbled across this beautiful, horrifying poem by Nancy Scott:

Night of the trucks.

On a deserted stretch north of Baghdad, sixty seconds of pure instinct.
Smell of diesel fuel. The conflagration, smoke roiling as one enemy truck explodes,

sparking others. Men on fire come running, mortar round cuts a man in half.
At first, a sense of exhilaration, how easy it is to pull the trigger, grateful

not to be charred and screaming. If you hesitate, you won't survive.
In this macho culture, Did you see the way I dropped that guy?

Memory is an amplifier. Feeling neither brave nor joyous;
later, the worst hangover you can imagine. Thousands of miles away, waking in a sweat,

especially when the wrong people die -- young girl with her nose blown off,
husband carrying his dead wife. Scraps of flesh among the ashes.

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