Genocide

Lying in fetal position, turned to right side, on furthest edge of mattress.
Past midnight, room dark, neighborhood quiet.
Staring through frost-rimmed window at stark moon.

Anti-abortion activists on undergrad campus earlier today,
Decrying murder of potential lives.
If potentiality is the criterion,
Then every adolescent boy in history has committed genocide.
Nightly.
Into wads of Kleenex, old socks, and toilet bowls.

Future entrepreneurs, researchers, concert pianists, presidents,
Pulitzer winners–millions at a time–mercilessly flushed to the sewer
Or tossed
Among the banana peel
And Pop-Tart crust
From this morning’s breakfast.

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Villanelle for Cody

What future lies in eyes of tarnished bronze?
Beneath cruel blows, young boy’s shy gaze burns bright.
Comprising hate or hope, keen glint there dawns.

His father’s fists the sole paternal bonds
Defined in child’s experiential sight.
What future lies in eyes of tarnished bronze?

The monster drinks and strikes and then absconds;
Precocious son bleeds, weeping through the night.
Comprising hate or hope, keen glint there dawns.

Alone, afraid, as precipice dark yawns,
The lad considers life: where to, what’s right,
What future lies in eyes of tarnished bronze?

Perpetuate his father’s sin, mere pawns
To Evil’s might? Or flee and seek Love’s height?
Comprising hate or hope, keen glint there dawns.

Outside the clinic, breeze across the lawns,
As he, my patient, lets his tears alight.
What future lies in eyes of tarnished bronze?
Comprising hate or hope, keen glint there dawns.