Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mikhail Kalashnikov, How Do I Love Thee?

by Jim Rapp

Love is measured by constancy,
excusing a multitude of sins,
finding reasons to insistently
forgive the sinner time and time again.

The trail of betrayals is never so long –
we’ve lost sight of its beginning –
that it stills the fawning suitor’s song,
so the lover, unfettered, goes on sinning.

In Tucson, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Columbine,
Chicago, Sandy Hook, Ft. Hood, D.C.,
Oak Creek; a persistent, bloody line
stretches on as far as human eye can see.

And still the frightened lift their lover’s song,
still, and still again, forgive their lover’s sins,
quick to blame their lover’s many wrongs
on any cause, or anyone, or anything but him.

How do I love thee, Kalashnikov? Let me count.
Can hate, or wounds, or weekly mayhem,
pooling blood, shattered lives, or any amount
of heinous sins you’ve sinned, my ardor stem?

No. None! It is a lover’s rights that are at stake.
When public parks, shopping malls, and gated lawns
are changed to killing fields, with brother-blood you slake
your thirst: an AK-47 thrills until the ammo’s gone.

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