many have pursued their tracks past rivers of bloodshed gagged through that lingering stench after flesh ignites, so it’s cruel fiction, a myth, that dragons are dead, slain by St. George and a few fairytale knights. except a malicious dragon, no beast can spew napalmish flames to roast teenage schoolgirls at first light as they flee Mekong food markets through swaying bamboo; or savage Dresden’s pottery shops and music halls to exchange piercing screams for opera stars’ debuts; or seek a higher means to terrorize and appall as Nagasaki skeletons rush for sacred parents’ tombs while flesh is stripped from runners before the dead can fall; their toxic breath blisters and blinds as its greenish plumes strangle entrenched soldier boys in Belgium’s mud and haze, and stuns the already wretched in their shower rooms to adequately fill each of Birkenau’s massive graves. only a dragon’s machete claws and razor teeth can butcher a million Tutsis, helpless, frantic, and lost in Rwanda’s thick forests of afrocarpus trees, and in Sri Lankan swamps, gnaw at the Tamils’ remains to prove their appetite for flesh cannot be appeased: their vile thirst never quenched, always more quarry to maim, always more towns, more fleeing victims to set aflame.
Raised on the blue-collar (textile) side of a small Southern town, John Michael Sears spent his college weekends rafting the Chattooga River and hiking the area around Linville Gorge Wilderness. He has lived and worked in a number of countries, many of them in the developing world and in places recovering from civil conflicts. His poetry has also been published in Floyd County Moonshine.