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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


by Mary Saracino

We have blood on our hands,
the stench of it coats our throats,
chokes our lungs, muddies our eyes,
clogs our aortas, thick as clotted cream.

They hung the Iraqi dictator,
wrapped the rope around
his neck, an anti-umbilical cord,
aborting decency, eviscerating
the precarious womb
that coddles civilization,
allowing us to murder
in the name of justice,
allowing us to believe a tyrant’s death
vindicates our invasion,
pardons our unpardonable war,
absolves us from our original sin.

There is no righteous victory
in his death, no way to exonerate
his brutal actions — or ours —
no way to erase the indelible stains
from his soul — or redeem the bloody hypocrisy
that lives on, in ours.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, memoir writer, and poet who lives in Denver, CO. Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans, is available from Pearlsong Press,