Whitman, tell us if today you would sit in a café
and applaud as Allied troops race north.
Crane, lend a myth for the Towers’ destruction.
Walt, sing the use of nuclear weapons.
Speak of Truman as you did of Lincoln.
Dear Hart, show us the roadmap to peace
in the Middle East. Ms. Dickinson,
can you locate the Axis of Evil? Whitman,
give us a report from your embedded position
with the 3rd Division before the assault.
Emily — show irony —
for daughters killed in combat.
Crane, in adamantine lines, tell
of meeting death on the Euphrates.
Use oil as a symbol to inflame
words into ecstasies of Manifest Destiny.
Poe, with agate eyes, don’t spare us
your macabre mask — anodyne to poisonous war.
Walt, Emily, Hart, Edgar lean toward
the glowing screen, your hands in ours,
unleashing drone and Hellfire.
Author: Mark McKain
Mark McKain teaches screenwriting at Full Sail University in Florida. His work has appeared in such journals as The New Republic, Agni, and American Letters & Commentary.