Outside View of the Victory Festivities

Steven D. Schroeder | Poetry

Each mouth in the crowd launches a fighter jet.
Every confetti flutter represents as much potential

energy as an artillery shell made good. More stars
than on all the souvenir flags, more parts to a salute

than anyone knows. Overturned and burning cars
believe in team. The lottery chooses what boys become

exiles next. Place where darker and darker scars
map futures already faced, where preachers sacrifice

bodies by the score to slow an unstoppable fall.
Men disciplined into stone for days without twitching,

even breath, can still watch with both eyes closed.
To reach an enemy’s heart at such distance,

a single finger touch. This country wants winners.