(after an image by photojournalist Gerald Herbert)
That little tragedian, the dragonfly, wings smeared with earth’s black blood, stands glued to its stem like an orator. It will never leave this soapbox now. Just hangs there spread-eagled, a wee-Jesus on a crucifix of grass. Some undertaker draped its rainbow in a shroud of pitch, shined its tar-ball shoes, closed those onyx eyes for good. It has become an effigy of itself. It wanted to tell us that it died for our sins. But its lips are sealed. This orator without a speech, ne of the meek, so busy inheriting the earth, it never noticed the evil tide bubbling up from earth’s slit jugular, it never saw that drop of gleaming crude on Judas’s lip.
It’s time to rotate the mattress. Your side is well worn from the gravity of heavy sleep
whereas mine has only the barest outline, my small frame pressed into it invisibly—
the tall and the short of us, the snore and the silence, the kick and the toss,
the quiet staring into the dark, blankets and quilts for every season, the listening for each other’s breath
and wondering when sleep will press the pennies of death onto eyelids closed for the last time
and then, ever the want of warmth and the smell of skin, the other’s cheek pillowed inches away.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).