Amy Hollowell

The Victor I Am Told Is Making New Rules


In their cages I am told they for breakfast get bagels & creamed cheese boiled eggs & tea

chain-linked as they are in this never-neverland of the free & they before Cuban dawn

rise I am told from concrete floor as a yankee imam army man calls all to 5:20 a.m.

prayer. Heads are shaved I am told & holy beards gone no doubt long before 20-hour

flight across oceans & lands continuing unbroken from one thicket stronghold where

no laws apply to another I am told where chiefs from the other side reign. Balmy

island rugged peak valley of the Panjshir or San Joaquin in bombed out village or

metropolitan canyon only what changes is form. Snow & rain ice & mist clouds & fog

descending salty foam on the beach & all waves big & small & the sea are one. If there's

prison there's not an inside & out. All of us are ball & chained. With homeland

insecure I am told it's a multi-front war & although I read on I am not told that war

must be multi because one is no foe of one. Instead I am told traditional conventions

need no longer apply for the victor I am told is making new rules. War & peace I am

told are oak table questions for the weighty to pose office semantics for the mighty

triumphant I am told while the vanquished get amputations & ruins I am told &

a place on their knees in a cage.



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