The word does not gnaw at my throat
with a vehemence that embodies the deafening explosions
that shatter lives at their very cores
and leave homes torn to shreds,
burned until the heaps of the ashes
of their dying embers are larger
than the buildings now destroyed,
turned into a dust
that escapes the cracks between their fingers-
as they desperately attempt

to cling onto the broken shards of the life they had known,
the dust now only a symbol of what was once a place of warmth and security;
of hope, love and care, but no more-
it escapes the same way their control does
when they struggle to find respite
as hope turns into desperation
and blue skies turn into black clouds of smoke.

No, the word does not make my throat burn
in solidarity with the flames
that consume their lives in mere seconds,
it does not twist my tongue
and leave it numb with disgust.
It sits, cold and indifferent,
lingering in the corners of my mouth like an unwelcome guest
that I absolutely must indulge.
A piercing realisation of the apathy I have learned,
been taught,
by books that merely make lists
of durations, participants, tactics and methods of warfare;
stating, with equal stoicism, the victories
that were a result of the opponent’s cowardice,
the opponent’s refusal to spill more blood.

War is not families, lovers, friends, humans dying.

War is merely countries fighting,
armies battling,
guns firing,
bombs exploding
and weaklings surrendering.

War is inconsequential,
discussed with boredom-
while sitting at a mahogany table and drinking from crystal glasses-
in flat voices with expressionless faces.
War evokes no more than a political, factual debate
amongst intellectuals that write prose, critique art and live to exist.

War is three meagre letters.


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