after "Ikwe Ishpiming" by Linda LeGarde Grover in Sister Nations:
A Million Pieces
From a car bomb, pungent smoke
moils and capers across the street,
veils babies succouring dolls.
Martyrs ignore the lives of infants,
ignite their fuses, pantomime creeds
that fragment mobs, sacrifice brothers.
In a bus a market they carpenter crowds
with sacks of nails, they prayerfully die
with faith to guide them, Allah, Jehovah,
one deity, a thousand names
invoked to bless impure acts.
Yes, we confess, we repent, forgive us
O Jesu, Kali, Buddha, Satan.
Now wailing sirens conspire at aid
but no rescue. No house of faith
rocks the cradle of peace, peace,
better to live in holy war.
and after "Mites" by Nick Flynn:
spangles our forearms
like gems, with each press
we express it out, it coats our lats
swell. How to add weights in such
heat, how to raise the bar
without risking our heart’s arrest? All
is strain—the lights at
max, more reps
then more again—achieving the sharpest
deltoids, pineapple biceps,
planks like oak trees—wine-bottle calves
& abdomen, gritted steel.