The Romanticization of Violence

We are serenaded by blood and guts
and supposed glory.
It whispers us to sleep at night.

We are accustomed to the embrace
of death. The way it folds its arms around us
and tells us quietly that it is ok.

We argue over whether Fifty Shades of Grey
will romanticize violence and then turn on The Walking Dead.
How many of us cheered when Bin Laden was killed?
Who didn’t love to watch the chaos of Kill Bill?
or even the mayhem of the Hunger Games?

The romanticization of violence has come and gone.

We hold hands with death
walk down the street with it
play hopscotch with it
make love to it.

We are so comfortable with it
ISIS has to invent new ways to shock us.
Set a caged man on fire.,
because no one remembers the lynching and burning of Jesse Washington.
Racism is an old ideal.
Religious extremism is not an American issue
Death is ok so long as it isn’t video-taped.
100 people die daily in Darfur.
I said, 100 people die daily in Darfur.

We have gone to bed with death.
Married it.
Lived with it for so long that we’ve
Gotten use to the way it looks first thing in the morning, the way
it smells after a long run, the way it’s really terrible at apologizing.

The video-taped torture and maiming is enticing and we all
too often jump ship from one atrocity to another.
Divorce is hard.
Let’s hope that hope and love can sing a sweeter song.

Sarah Frances Moran is a writer, editor, animal lover, videogamer, queer Latina. She thinks Chihuahuas should rule the world and prefers their company to people 90% of the time. Her work has most recently been published or is upcoming in Drunk Monkeys, FreezeRay Poetry, Dirty Chai, Crabfat, Rust+Moth, Maudlin House and The Bitchin' Kitsch. She is Editor/Founder of Yellow Chair Review. You may reach her at Read other articles by Sarah Frances, or visit Sarah Frances's website.