Purgatory

I had a dream last night and in the dream, I woke up

and I didn’t know where I was.

There was nothing leading up to it,

I just woke up in a strange place.

Before too long, based on what was happening

I figured that I was in hell, or someplace like it.

I must have died somehow, and now I was in hell.

It was absolutely awful.

There were people dying all around me from famine and disease.

Bombs were dropping on them and they were too weak to run.

 

Then, all of a sudden the bombs stopped falling

and the people seemed to be recovering.

There was food, and medicine.

Some people even started playing music.

Miraculously, things were turning around.

Maybe I was wrong, maybe this wasn’t hell.

 

I was beginning to think that things were going to be okay

when a crowd of people gathered around me

and I followed them

and there were these machines

and we had pockets full of coins

and we put the coins into the machines

and as soon as the coins were in the machines

the people who had been dying earlier,

the other people,

not the ones who I joined at the machines,

the dying people started to die again.

Death began to appear back on their faces

and then the bombs started to fall on them again.

More and more people died from famine and disease,

and from the bombs.

 

Then, suddenly, the bombs slowed down again

and the people stopped dying and grew stronger

and stronger

and life was good

and of course this couldn’t be hell…

 

but then the other crowd reappeared

and I followed them, on autopilot,

and we put more coins into the machines

and then the other group of people

immediately started to drop like flies

faster and faster

old women and old men,

babies, children, mothers,

and of course, fathers

they looked awful

and were dying in greater numbers than before

and then the bombs started to fall on them.

More and more bombs falling on more and more people

and then I realized

that there were none of the other people left alive.

The bombs continued for a little while longer, for good measure

but the people were all dead.

 

The first group of people

the ones I followed

they were walking back towards me now

but none of them had any coins left

and I had no coins left

so we just wandered around

stepping over the rubble

and the dead bodies.

This went on

and on

and on,

walking around like this on autopilot

stepping over the dead,

looking for more coins

to feed the machine

but there were no coins

and now we were hungry

but there was no food

because the landscape was decimated

and nothing would grow

in the wake of the machine.

 

 

Then I woke up.

My heart was racing

and I was covered in sweat.

I thought about my dream

and I realized that it wasn’t hell at all.

It was Yemen

and Syria

It was Iraq

and Afghanistan

and Libya.

The only difference was,

we could see what we were paying for

and we could see

what was possible

if we stopped

feeding the machine.

 

No, that wasn’t hell.

Hell is out of sight and out of mind.

Hell is where we call the dead “collateral damage”.

Hell is full of the other people

so no, we don’t live in hell

we live in purgatory

but we create hell

for the other people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This entry was posted in collateral damage, hell, poem, Poetry, taxes, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance, Yemen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.