A Poet's Kiss

Albuquerque poet Mary Oishi puts poems, pictures, and thoughts here for her family and friends, and for lovers of poetry everywhere.

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Sunday, October 24, 2010

don't ask don't tell

don't ask don't tell me
of your drone missile strikes
launched from an air-conditioned office
somewhere in the american west
as if our soldiers are playing video games
then going home to have dinner with their families
like it was nothing at all

don't ask don't tell me
of your pro-life stance
when you cheer the shock and awe
that kills thousands of fetuses
along with their expectant mothers
toddling sisters
curly-haired brothers
all in a quest for barrels of oil
don't ask don't even tell me, please

don't ask don't tell
of your good wars
when i come from
a japanese girl traumatized
by the burning rain of napalm
and a farmboy haunted a lifetime
by his buddy throwing scalding water
in the faces of children
foraging through garbage for food
yes, my dad told me
he got down on his knees and begged god
to return some compassion to his heart
before he returned stateside
after all he'd seen
don't ask don't tell me
of your so-called good wars

don't ask don't tell
of the billions and billions and billions
siphoned from busboys and schoolteachers
nurses and construction workers
firefighters and waitresses
administrative assistants and truck drivers
plumbers and retail clerks
to fund military bases all over the world and
corporate towers to protect the untouchable royalty
of military contractors and
fat dividends for the lazy rich who
invest their ancestors' spoils of
slavery and native blood
while twenty-four thousand children starve every day
prisons are bulging in their millions
healthcare and education are chronically underfunded

don't ask don't tell me
of a father and son
filthy in oil and fascism
who appoint supreme court justices
who rule that money is speech
to ensure that the people
never again get in their measly two cents

and for sure don't ask don't tell me
how a man who loves another man
a woman who loves another woman
aren't fit to serve
i wish with all my heart
they didn't even want to

don't ask don't tell me
how sacred it is
to feed ourselves to a greedy monster
that never once thinks to ask
that never wants us to tell

what's really truly going on in america

mary oishi