“They were wearing blood”

by Michael Yaworsky

'nother one just happened
newest fresh obscenity in the horror-of-the-month club
after the flash and the bang and the shock and the nausea
we shake our concussed heads and cast about for wurds  werds  words
do words (birds nerds Kurds herds turds) bring solace
or are they only sounds (zounds dog pounds baying hounds
	        double downs merry-go-rounds lost and founds)
a wraith emerges from the fragments
what did she see? what does she feel/taste/swallow/breathe
what will she dream nights?

shooting,  she says.  horrible screams
bad smell.  crying
the people…. they were wearing blood

o what barbarous usage!
what do we wear, we pious, we posers, we prognosticators, we pretenders
we promise mongers, promise makers, promise keepers, promise breakers?

I do not say it well  she apologizes
in words heavily accented by some foreign tongue
my insides scream otherwise
as my back slithers down the side of the sound truck                                                                                                                   
I double over
taste pavement
and weep

After the Brussels airport and metro station bombings on March 22, 2016, an English-speaking news outlet asked one victim to describe what she’d seen. Part of her description was that “the people were wearing blood.”                                                                       

Michael Yaworsky is a retired lawyer/legal editor. He lives in Rochester’s 19th Ward with his family.