By: Benjamin Rose
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughter’d saints...
—John Milton, Sonnet 18
We curse in the parlance of former Hill staffers
And emissaries of the Thinkeries,
Jesting at knowledge. On the pages of
The Washington Post and The New York Times,
Pale wars are waged on the corpse of defeat
In mockery of the brown bodies found
On the tarmac of Kabul and in landing gear
Of a military jet touched down in Qatar.
Now is the Althing of our shibboleths;
Now is the false kingsmoot of columnists.
The dotard gives his address to the globe,
Blaming the vanquished who had no bullets
For their enslavement, keen to be avenged
On those who dismissed his craven folly
As the stubbornness of a pensioner
Groaning to return soup at a Deli.
America has shed its competent facade
Without any need for racist mangos
To fulminate under a bad toupée.
The blowhards launder their sleeves of charnel.
Meanwhile, the murderers go door to door
Raping and killing those who defied them,
Till twenty years of squandered hopes collapse
Beneath the sting of the fanatic’s lash.
They shall revert to Laila and Mariam
Under the bludgeoning fist of Rasheed:
Humiliated, made invisible,
To serve God’s strictures twisted and debased
By spite and bigotry of the aging Mullahs.
Let their groans be witnesses against us.
Would there would rise a new Lion Of Panjshir!
Young girls are handed over the blast walls
To find new homes among their betrayers.
Gunfire riddles the air. Kalashnikovs
Ward off the refugees from seven–thirty–sevens.
Benjamin Rose is a poet born and raised in the D.C. area. His work has appeared in The Dillydoun Review, The Button Eye Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, and Last Resort Literary Review. He studies creative writing, Arabic, and Islamic civilization at The Catholic University Of America.