“Bullets not Blood”

They line our meadows with shells.
Cross fire, takes place.
“You call this target practice?”
“Yes, we shoot but nobody dies here.”
How do his teeth carry these words,
And still stand, withstand the pressure of lie…
“Nobody dies? Because bullets..
Were designed to conserve life, right?
You look just like the type of man,
who uses his ammunition sparingly. “
It almost slips, but I bite my tongue.
I guess his mantra goes something like “Bullets not blood.”
Like each word blankets the stench of the dead,
And each gunshot drowns out the sound of mourning.
In justification of genocide.

Still we watch crimson skies rising over mountains.
Still witness the dead marching to Eid gah,
Our mothers’ must be the only ones,
Who sing wedding songs to the dead.
“Nobody dies here, right?”
He nods “Bullets not blood.”
His jackboots stumbling over mass graves,
As my words stumble over triggers,
Not of guns but of memories,
Beyond the borders of history.
Occupiers drew blood from land,
Crossing this country with concertina wire.

“Occupiers drew blood from the land,
Crossing this country with concertina wire,
I still hear the screams, don’t you, sir?”
It almost slips but I bite my tongue.

I come from a people, who know,
The taste of blood and bullets, intimately.
Normalcy is the severed veins in my mouth,
Normalcy is the sound of bullet through brain,
Normalcy is the silence watching me die.

“Bullets not blood.”
He whispers like a prayer over my death,
“Bullets not blood.”
Nobody dies here, right?
“Bullets not blood.”
Mountains mourn over mantra,
Their white blankets now crimson.

Mother, was it the blood,
Or the bullet,
That drew you to my body?
Father, will you carry me,
Beyond the concertina wire,
To home?

Nobody dies here.

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