What if they gave a war and nobody came?
—the poster reads. Too late. The invitations
engraved, have gone out; the RSVPs were sent;
the guests, always arriving dressed to kill.
The caterers insist that the show must go on.
The musicians composed their anthems.
The writers polished their prose to a sharp point.
And so the party begins, the blood pours
from the punch bowls, brains and entrails
serve as unappetizing appetizers. Fires burn
in every corner and soon the smoke covers
the last bits of truth. We hear each other
only distantly, we talk hesitantly or shout
hatefully. The dance of death strikes midnight,
the skull calling the steps. Children cry,
adults tremble with fear and righteousness,
each sure of being right, each afraid of being
wrong. What if they gave a war, and nobody
came? Too late. The engraved invitations
were welcomed, gathered in, tied with ribbons.