1985

written by Brooks Haxton

1985

— Brooks Haxton

The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth
the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in
the blood of the wicked. Psalm 58

It was the fortieth year since Buchenwald: two thousand
Jewish refugees in Sudan starved while Reagan visited
the graves of Nazis. CBS paid off Westmoreland
for their rude disclosure of his lies and crimes:
he had killed thirty of the enemy, let’s not forget,
for every one lost us: he was owed something.
That year, though, no terrorist could touch God’s work
in Mexico and north of Bogota: an earthquake here,
volcano there, and numbers do not signify the dead,
each corpse incomprehensible as to the widow Klinghoffer
her Leon, shot, dumped overboard as if to make a point.
Westmoreland said, the Viet Cong could be indentified
from the attacking aircraft as all personnel in uniform
below. Their uniform, he told us, was the native dress.

About the poet


Brooks Haxton

Brooks Haxton, born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1950, is the son of the novelist Ellen Douglas and the composer Kenneth Haxton. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, Haxton teaches in the writing programs at Syracuse University and Warren Wilson College. He lives in Syracuse with his wife and three children.Brooks Haxton's Works:Nakedness, Death, and the Number Zero, The Lay of Eleanor and Irene (Backcountry, 1985) Dominion (Knopf, 1986) Traveling Company (Knopf, 1989) Dead Reckoning (Story Line Press, 1989) The Sun at Night (Knopf, 1997)

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