Song Fragments From the Brokenhearted Chorus
A Composite Poem

Sift dirt from any American lawn: chipped calcium and nitrogen
amendments enrich the roses’ blush past burn with meal ground
from the murdered and the lost. We process: break them down
into chemical components. Their names devolve to naked vowels.
How sweet do the roses smell in Omelas? Who walks anywhere anymore?

The brokenhearted chorus fails to transform tragedy to song.
The brokenhearted chorus sings song fragments between sobs.

We cannot blame summer’s high heat for boiling
temperatures, nor the flintlock alone; the spark
is a mental aggress. Tell me, is this your wall of fame?

I’m afraid of the bullet, crushed
ribs, burst spleen, the stray bullet
meant for somebody else,
the execution style just for me.

The hole left by the bullet was big enough to swallow the world.

after the rape, my mother spits
that’s what men do
I don’t know what this means
’til 8 years later when the doctor claims
it’s a girl
lays the bloody thing on my chest

17 for only three days. Broke Junko
into thoughtless pieces. Encased
the body in cement. Still they walk free

It’s the fact that when the body is broken, it becomes something different entirely; a pinata crafted out of sinew and bone, and we can feel all of the magic fall out in drops.

your fingers, no more bones than my bones
onions in the pale of orgasm, I seek to hide from you

The boomerang effect has been building from war to war.
A clicking of dog tags.
An army of medics and morticians.

If the heart were a garden, bruises could be blooms
and screams could be transposed as songs like those
of bees and hummingbirds. If the heart were a garden,
breaking one would be like breaking the ground in Spring.

God weeps behind the mask tattooed on his face.

By Marvin Bell, Eirean Bradley, Tony Brown, Jenith Charpentier, Lea DeschenesRichard H. Fox, Victor D. Infante, Suzanne Lummis, Heather J. Macpherson, Ellyn Maybe, Jaimes Palacio and Sholeh Wolpe.