THE WARTIME ISSUE

Mike Maggio

 

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

(we regret the loss of)
            civilian casualties
(we regret the loss)
            of innocent bystanders
(we regret the)
            loss of independent observers
            the loss of unembedded reporters

(we regret)

(we regret the)
            Ministry of Finance
(we regret the)
            Press Building
(we regret)
(we regret)
            the Ministry of Culture
            Children's Hospital
            the pharmaceutical facility
(we)

(regret)
(regret)
(regret)

(the loss of)
            doctors
(the loss of)
(the loss of)
(we)
            nurses
(we)
(regret)
(the loss)
(of)

            medical supplies
(the loss of)
            syringes
            pain killers
(the loss of regret we)

(regret)
            history
(the loss of)
(we apologize)
(we’re sorry for your)
            geographical location
            your house
            your museum
            your market
(we regret the)
(regret)
            the bridge across the river
(our condolences for)
(our deepest sorrow)
(our commiseration)
(our pity for)
            your baby
            your wife
            your son
            your husband

(we regret the)
(thethethethethethethethe)

(we regret the)
            values
(we insist)
(we claim)
(we maintain)
(we regret the)
            liberation
(we)
(loss the regret of)
            occupation
            oil
(we regret)
            the country
(we maintain the regret of)

(we regret the loss of)
            freedom
(we regret the)
            constitution
(we regret the lossof)
(we regret the lossof)
            freedom of press
(we do)
(we do)
(we do so regret)
            freedom of speech
(the lossof the lossof the lossof)
(the)
            right to a fair trial
(thethethethethethethethe)
            right to counsel
(we regret the)
(we)
(we)
(we)
(we regret)
(we so regret)
(we do so regret)
(we do hereby declare)
(we swear on our mothers)
(we swear on the flag)
(we swear on the bible)
(we swear on the corporation)
(we’re sorry)
(the number you have)
(we’re really sorry)
(we sincerely apologize)
(we can’t express our)
(we regret the loss of)

 

 

Mike Maggio is the author of Sifting Through the Madness, a collection of short fiction, and Oranges From Palestine, a chapbook of poems. His latest book, Demockracy, which includes the poem "Collateral Damage," is currently in search of a publisher. He is currently working on a new project entitled Once Upon a Blank Page. He lives in Herndon, Virginia, with his wife and three children.

Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.

 

To read more by this author:
Mike Maggio: The Whitman Issue