All Hallows’ Eve, NYC, 2017

High on sugar, ebullient, 
our children suffer 
through the last hours 
of school, so many monsters, 
masked, fake blood trickling 
from the corners of their mouths. 
The city—nation—pretends 
for hours, sometimes days at a time, 
that evil isn’t real, that it isn’t  
at this very moment cloaked 
in righteousness, climbing 
into a rented truck, repeating 
misappropriated incantations, justifying 
what it is about to do. Tomorrow 
bells will toll for eight more souls, 
unwitting martyrs—only two American. 
This is no holiday stunt, orchestrated 
for the benefit of early trick-or-treaters 
or the antsy Stuyvesant students about to be 
dismissed. The street will soon be littered 
with bicycle shrapnel, scribbled notes  
praising the God of ninety-nine names,  
the sheet-draped bodies, alternately lit 
a pallid red and blue.