One war is not finished before the next starts,
not a million miles away but here in my room

henchmen carry limp hostages in their teeth
like wolves with paralyzed prey, tongues

cut out. They’re bringing back the guillotines
into sacred lands, the pride of the philistines.

I reach my arms out to crying children,
children with bloody bodies and no mothers,

hold them against my wet maternal face in this
triangulation of victims, barbarians, news-watchers.

Try to remember the other war, how interminable,
have our tears run dry for that one? In our

trifling infighting and distractions, we look past
humanity, disperse to our estranged corners.

Diane Vogel Ferri’s full-length poetry book is Everything is Rising. Her latest novel is No Life But This: A Novel of Emily Warren Roebling. Her essays and poems can be found in numerous journals. Her other books are Liquid Rubies (poetry), The Volume of Our Incongruity (poetry), and The Desire Path (novel). Her poem, For You, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net 2023. Read other articles by Diane.