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The silence fled like a thief in the night.
In its place, the fire made the loudest
and emptiest bed you’d ever seen.
We all heard the gods and their crops
screaming like animals as they burned
until the town was nothing but ash.
We were hungry and desperate, you see.
So we dug up the old graves and sucked
the pain from our grandmothers’ bones.
Whatever we didn’t retch on, leeched deep
into our skin till we turned white as ghosts.
What do you know about it, child?
You weren’t there to see how many
people fell from the dead weight of
shouldering their ancestors’ ghosts.
Go look a mad man in the eye and ask
how the fire ate him from the inside
and then tell me what you know of war.