by Barirah Ashfak

War tastes like death with a fever
Sick and unwell, a raging
Heat dancing across my skin

Swords will not hurt the land?
But my left hand is the west,
My right is the east
And you are hurting everything in between

If I listen closely I can hear men
Who are roaring with lion mouths and
Trembling human hearts

Blood is spilling deep into the mud
My flesh and theirs mixing
As it should

If I was peckish
I would swallow them whole
But they have to learn

Swords are big and shiny but
they’re less than the worth of
a boy who’ll never see his father come home
a bride walking up the aisle with no hand to hold
the ghost of a kiss that should’ve landed
On those cheeks years ago

Tell me, Mr Englishman
Does victory sound like
Missing the birth of your first born child
Or does it sound like
Which follow you into old age

I’ll tell you, Mr Englishman
your name means nothing to me
But you never learn
and it never ends.