IN A WAR-TORN COUNTRY
by Manuel Buen Abad (2014)
In a war-torn country I was alone,
at night shutting the awful doors
where Death Herself had made Her home,
the war-torn men forever gone.
In a war-torn country the days went on
and nothing new they ever brought
for nothing new ever occurred,
but screams and guts and gas and blood.
But in a war-torn country I found my love,
I was staring at the mud one afternoon;
a fair young man that marched from home,
a sweet young boy they’ve sent to kill.
In a war-torn country he sat with me,
and spoke of songs and jokes and tea
and for a second then I could forget
my tired hands, in thick red drenched.
And in a war-torn country we made love
inside an old house by the road
and while outside rained shells and blood
we merged ourselves, both drunk with joy.
We saw each other bathing in the moon,
one flesh, one story, one powerful soul;
and as he ran his fingers o’er my skin
my moans escaped me from my lips.
But in a war-torn country some men are fools
and they took their men and took mine too;
and they sent them to be slaughtered at the front,
they sent them to be slaughtered far from home.
And in a war-torn country I couldn’t sleep
at night, other moans I heard and I feared
that in this fretful country I was to be
alone, and he’d be gone.
And in this hateful country I cannot leave
I heard the fire and smelled the rain
and when they brought the boys to me,
although I sought, no one was him.
For in this war-torn country I’d lost my love
outside an old house by the road,
his pierced body sinking in the mud,
I stared at him one afternoon.
In a war-torn country I lost my love,
his smell still hidden in my clothes.
In a war-torn country I walked alone
and took my life there, by the road.