War is Like Water

War is like water:
when it appears, vast and waveless, at a distance,
you aren’t always sure it’s there.
Or you tell yourself: that deep, that distant blue
is just the sky.
Surely the sky.
Surely.

War is like water:
cries do not penetrate it,
but voltage does.
It conducts electricity (and anger)
It preserves heat (and fire)
Its layers are home to creatures:
some living, some dead,
and some shape-shifting
by need and circumstance.

War is like water:
it has no color, yet plenty of shades.
It shimmers for some
and swallows others.
It freezes and boils.
It has many states at once.

And somewhere, it always is.

War is like water, because
our bodies are made of it, but
our lungs are not made for it.

So you run out of air
just as you realize:
you’ve seen this before.
Somewhere. newspapers? TV? radio?

… Remember?
You liked to think of it as the sky:
that deep, that spotless distant blue.

 

July 2014

Image credit: www.thetimes.co.uk

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