Tissue

There is an Afghan journalist,

Living in Kabul and in this war,

And he tells me about his injuries,

How he has six fresh shrapnel wounds,

And two bullet wounds that are healing,

And I am mowing the lawn,

Here, in America,

Pushing the lawnmower back and forth,

In this cadence, a march across my grass,

And the rotary blades are spinning,

Cutting the grass down, close to the root,

Or what lies behind me,

This trail of fallen grass,

Like bodies, plant tissue,

Killed and left behind, and

I am thinking about skin,

How bullets tear through human skin,

Tearing the tissue apart, layer by layer,

And Afghanistan, this country of war,

Made of soldiers and guns and bombs

And bullets, shrapnel and animals, the

Men, women, children, their skin, and

How it is just tissue,

How our skin is just tissue,

Layers of skin tissue,

That can be broken,

Split, and torn, open.

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