If you saw the flies
wander the taught yellow skin,
and if you smelled the ovens;
if you felt
the ribbons of flesh
harrowed across a slave’s broad back;
and if you heard a girl
scream and bleed when soldiers
line up between her splayed legs
you would not be so quick to liken
human utterance and human art to a primate’s sign language;
you would hear how hollow the old lie rings,
Ethics is an adaptation for the survival of the species.
Minneapolis, 2007. Self-published in Clay Eyes.